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Traveling Soon? CDC Updates Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Author name: Lee Health


CDC updates travel guidelines graphic

You’re vaccinated—and you’re ready to go somewhere.

COVID-19 practically grounded pleasure travel. But in the wake of the vaccination roll-out sweeping the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance travel for fully vaccinated people.

So, if you’re planning to travel within the United States, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people can:

  • Travel at low risk to themselves. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of vaccine.
  • Travel within the United States and don’t need COVID-19 testing or post-travel self-quarantine as long as they continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling – wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, socially distancing, and washing hands frequently.

“With millions of Americans getting vaccinated every day, it is important to update the public on the latest science about what fully vaccinated people can do safely, now including guidance on safe travel,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says.

“Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life, so we encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity.”

International travel guidelines

Because of the potential introduction and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, differences in disease burden and vaccines, and vaccine coverage around the world, CDC suggests that fully vaccinated people who are traveling internationally can:

  • Can travel internationally without getting a COVID-19 test before travel unless it is required by the international destination.
  • Don’t need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.
  • Must still report a negative COVID-19 test result before they board a flight to the United States.
  • Should still get a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days after returning from international travel.
  • Should continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling internationally.

The new guidance does not change the agency’s existing guidance for people who are not fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated travelers should still get tested 1-3 days before domestic travel and again 3-5 days after travel. They should stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel or 10 days if they don’t get tested at the conclusion of travel. 

CDC discourages non-essential domestic travel by those who are not fully vaccinated.

Due to the large number of Americans who remain unvaccinated and the current state of the pandemic, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands frequently and avoiding crowds when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19.

What does “fully vaccinated” mean? Read our blog story about what you should do after your get your COVID-19 shot.

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