The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said people who’re fully vaccinated at considered “low risk” and can safely resume non-essential travel. This comes after the agency had held off on revising their set of recommendations until more information was available.
The announcement reverses a previous guidance from the CDC that said all Americans should avoid non-essential travel, especially those who were not vaccinated and at-risk of transmitting COVID-19. This should give a boost to the U.S. travel industry which is still significantly struggling since the start of the pandemic a year ago. The new CDC guidance specifically green lights vaccinated grandparents getting on airplanes to see grandchildren.
However, the agency warned that older American traveling domestically to see loved one should still follow the CDC’s advice for safe travels. This includes a mass transit mask mandate put forward by the Biden Administration in January. Even though fully vaccinated grandparents can fly “without getting a COVID-19 test or self-quarantining,” according to the guidance.
A group representing most of the major U.S. airlines had previously urged the CDC to immediately update its guidance to say “vaccinated individuals can travel safely.”
The guidance will open up travel inside the U.S. for many, but the administration is not lifting restrictions that bans most-non U.S. citizens from the United States who have recently been in China, Brazil, South Africa and most of Europe. It will also keep requirements in place that all international visitors must test negative for the virus before entering the United States.
The CDC did not revise guidance for non-vaccinated people.
“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,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement
The CDC’s new guidance says fully vaccinated people do not need COVID-19 tests before international travel unless it is required by the international destination and vaccinated people returning from foreign travel do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by state or local authorities.
Many Americans have assumed the risk of traveling by air even with the CDC’s strict guidance. The Transportation Security Administration screened 1.57 million people at U.S. airports on Sunday, which was the highest daily total since March 2020.