Americans that have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus (Covid-19) do not need to quarantine after domestic or international travel, according to new guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19,” the updated guidelines say.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second shot of the two-dose regimen from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated Americans should still take precautions while traveling – wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and washing hands frequently – despite the relatively low risk to themselves.
The updated guidelines say that vaccinated Americans do not need to get a coronavirus test before traveling to another country, unless required to do so by authorities at the destination.
However, all air passengers coming back to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States.
The CDC also recommends that travelers get tested for coronavirus three to five days after arriving back in the United States.
“International travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants,” the CDC’s updated guidelines for international travel says.
Before traveling internationally, the CED advises for Americans to understand and follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. “If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States,” the CDC says.
The CDC recommends delaying international travel until an individual is fully vaccinated.
Speaking at the White House coronavirus response team’s briefing on Friday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky summarized the new guidelines and said she would not recommend non-essential travel at this point, due to the climbing number of coronavirus cases.
“We are not recommending travel at this time, especially for unvaccinated individuals,” she said.