The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that fully vaccinated people are at a lower risk of contracting the virus while traveling. The CDC also advises that fully vaccinated individuals be cautious as the number of cases around the world rise.
“The science shows us that getting fully vaccinated allows you to do more things safely and it’s important for us to provide that guidance even in the context of rising cases,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director, said. “… At the same time, we must balance the science with the fact that most Americans are not yet fully vaccinated, which is likely contributing to a rise in cases.”
“I would advocate against general travel overall. Our guidance is silent on recommending or not recommending fully vaccinated people travel. Our guidance speaks to the safety of doing so.”
The CDC continues to reinforce the importance of mask-wearing. According to the CDC, 40% of all adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The agency says that people who travel domestically do not need to get a COVID-19 test or self-quarantine after travel unless the state or local jurisdiction requires it.
Fully vaccinated individuals that are traveling internationally do not need to be tested before they leave the United States unless the region they are traveling to requires it. International travelers should test negative before they return to the United States and should test three to five days after they arrive back to the U.S.
President Biden’s goal is to distribute 200 million doses by April 30.
“The CDC’s data suggests that vaccinated individuals don’t transmit the coronavirus, which opens the door much wider for resuming travel, albeit while continuing to carefully follow other health best practices,” Roger Dow, President of the U.S. Travel Association, said. “Acknowledging that vaccinations eliminate the need for testing and quarantines removes a key barrier to domestic travel.”
The Airlines for America and the U.S. Travel Association sent a letter to White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator, Jeffrey Zients, expressing their desire to collaborate with the Biden administration to reopen the U.S. to international visitors.
“We are ready to welcome back travelers and keep them safe,” the coalition wrote. “And the time to plan for and chart a defined road ma to reopen international travel is now.”
The travel industry is also pushing for the administration to establish a health passport system. Anonymous sources say that the travel restrictions are expected to be lifted by mid-May.
“There is going to be a sea change in mid-May when vaccines are more widely available to everyone,” one senior administration official who wished to remain anonymous told CNBC.