The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has updated its travel guidance for fully vaccinated people. 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.

CDC is providing the following guidance related to international travel:

  • Fully vaccinated people can travel internationally without getting a COVID-19 test before travel unless it is required by the international destination.
  • Fully vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.
  • Fully vaccinated people must still have a negative COVID-19 test result before they board a flight to the United States and get a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days after returning from international travel.
  • Fully vaccinated people should continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling internationally.

“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”

Dr Rochelle Walensky, Director, CDC

Previously, the CDC had cautioned against unnecessary travel, even for vaccinated people, but promised to update its guidance as more people got vaccinated and evidence mounted about the protection the shots provide. Currently, around 100 million people (30% of the population) have received at least one dose of the vaccine; a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after both doses have been administered.

During a White House briefing on 2nd April, Dr Walensky continued to express concern about the pandemic, and with growing case numbers, still recommends against nonessential travel.

“We haven’t changed our guidance for nonessential travel at all. We are not recommending travel at this time, especially for unvaccinated people” Walensky said, reiterating that the changes are solely directed at those who are fully vaccinated (around 20% of the adult population).

“I still continue to worry that with 80% of the population unvaccinated that we still have a lot of work to do to control this pandemic”