The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can now travel at low risk to themselves. However, the agency maintains its stance of not recommending any travel due to the rising infection case counts.
On Friday, CDC Director Rochelle Wallensky said that this new guidance is based on research that reveals the effectiveness of the said vaccines in the “real world.”
Travelers who have fully received their vaccine no longer need to follow CDC recommendations of getting a COVID-19 test prior to and after traveling, unless it is required by the destination. They, however, still need to wear masks and follow other precautions.
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The agency’s announcement on Friday doesn’t change a high-profile travel restriction, though. Therefore, vaccinated travelers still need negative COVID-19 tests to board international flights going to the US. They then need to also get another one, three to five days following their return.
Even with the new guidance, the CDC director said during a White House briefing that the agency doesn’t intend to reverse its advice of avoiding nonessential travel while the pandemic rages on. This goes for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
When asked how this adds up to the announcement that vaccinated people can safely travel, Walensky made a clarification. She said that the guidance is not about recommending that fully vaccinated people should travel. Instead, it is about whether it’s safe for them to do so. She said that if a person has fully received the vaccine, travel becomes “lower risk.”