CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can travel freely in the US

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The US has been doing incredibly well with the rollout of the COVID vaccine and is now vaccinating at a rate of almost five times the world average. Now those who are fully vaccinated have been given the green light to travel domestically. According to new CDC travel guidelines, fully vaccinated travelers are free to travel throughout the U.S. without having to quarantine or take a COVID test unless the destination requires it. These travelers can also travel internationally. However, the CDC recommends that international travelers follow the destination country’s guidelines. Some countries require a COVID test 1-3 days before travel and the CDC recommends travelers get tested before reentering the U.S. Below are a few more details for the avid traveler, from People:

According to new guidelines posted on its “Travel During COVID-19″ page, the CDC said that, “People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the United States,” noting “fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19.”

The organization noted that a person who is considered fully vaccinated is someone who has gone two weeks since receiving the last recommended dose of a vaccine.

The new guidelines state that travelers who are fully vaccinated do not need to be tested before or after they travel, unless it is a requirement set by their destination.

People who have received the COVID-19 vaccine also do not need to quarantine after travel, but are recommended to continue taking COVID-19 precautions seriously by wearing a mask, staying socially distant 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,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “We continue to encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as it’s their turn, so we can begin to safely take steps back to our everyday lives.”

“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,” he added.

[From People]

The last year has been hellish for someone like me whose greatest joy is traveling. I took a short trip to New Mexico in November to meet with a screenwriter (not a flex) to do an episode of my podcast, but that is literally the only traveling I did last year. I was ok with not traveling, but at the beginning of the year I started to feel the heaviness of not being able to go out safely. With this new news, I am excited since I am recently fully vaccinated (Houston is on it ya’ll). I will be taking my first trip to NY this week and I feel less stressed about it since I have gotten the vaccine. I still follow the guidelines and only hang out with friends who are also vaccinated.

I am waiting to travel internationally until after the summer. I want to wait until Europe, Africa and Asia have at least half of their populations vaccinated. I don’t want to take the risks of either carrying a variant to those destinations or contracting one. I am so happy that these new guidelines are giving us the green light to travel domestically. There are several U.S. states that I have yet to see and several friends I hope to visit so I don’t mind waiting until the fall to travel if it is safer. Getting vaccinated has lifted a weight that has been sitting on my shoulders for months now. Hopefully businesses will be able to open soon to greater capacity if it is safe. I also hope that small businesses and all of us are able to rebound after a year of loss and isolation. Maybe this news is the pick me up we all need

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Photos credit: Anna Shvets, Rachel Claire and Jess Vide on Pexels and Atoms on Unsplash

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43 Responses to “CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can travel freely in the US”

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  1. Darla says:

    I get my second shot tomorrow, and I am sooo excited about all of this good news. I will still mask when in grocery stores, elevators etc, but in large part I am going to begin living normally again. I may mask for the rest of my life because I loved not getting sick this past winter, completely out of the normal for me. It’s a new normal, but you know what? Close enough for this girl.

    • BusyLizzy says:

      I totally agree with you Darla! Honestly I will continue to wear my mask long after COVID is “gone” in public transportation and other public spaces just to avoid picking up the seasonal viruses. I just got my first jab and I am so excited to be fully vaccinated. Rollout has been very slow here in France and I know a lot of eager 30 year olds like me who cannot wait to be vaccinated and have a normal-ish life again.

      • Coz' says:

        @BusyLizzy Since you are in you 30s (like me) I am curious and I hope you don’t mind me asking : how did you manage to get a shot? Are you on the priority list due to your profession?

      • BusyLizzy says:

        I signed up on a website tfor vaccination volunteers to prevent vaccines being thrown away. They basically contact you if they don’t have enough eligible people to vaccinate and the jabs will be thrown out. You have to be pretty quick to respond because they offer appointments within 24 hours and if you don’t respond, they move to another volunteer. There are loads of vaccine jabs being wasted / thrown away at the moment, that’s such a shame.

        If you live in France, here is the website : https://www.covidliste.com/

        Of and because I’m under 30, I received the Pfizer vaccine and not AstraZeneca.

      • Coz' says:

        @BusyLizzy Thank you. I’ve just registered.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      Honestly, my anxiety level has come down about 90% in the last 6 wks. after my 2nd shot. That feeling of terror when I’d go out the door to do an errand is *gone*. Last week, I took my dad in his wheelchair out for a walk in the park; our masks hung from our ears unless we saw someone coming down our path then they went on until they passed, and then off again to breathe some fresh air. I’d’ve NEVER done that back in February!!

      Even going out to lunch (outdoors, not brave enough for indoor dining yet!) was SUCH a heady treat!!!

    • Hannah Young says:

      Growing up in Korea, we always wore masks during the cold/flu season and if we were sick, inside & outside. Even as young as second grade, I remember kids wearing masks inside classrooms if we had the sniffles or coughs. I don’t think this was the only reason, but I’d never been sick a day in my life until I was 19 and at my university in NJ.

      • Moorele says:

        I’d be completely fine if we continued wearing masks in these situations! I don’t miss catching colds!

      • BothSidesNow says:

        As an immune compromised person, I will wear masks forever now. I can’t catch a cold because when I catch one, it takes me 3 weeks to recover and it’s hell on my already taxed body. I suffer from chronic pain and tomorrow I will have my forth MRI and eighth set of x- rays total in the last 15 years. I will happily continue to wear a mask!

  2. Case says:

    I don’t really understand this advice from the CDC when it’s director just said last week she feels an impending sense of doom, there are all sorts of variants swirling that may or may not be able to work around the current vaccine, and there have been reports of fully vaccinated people being hospitalized. In fact, I’m pretty sure their main advice still remains that people shouldn’t travel unless necessary, so coming out with this conflicting message is just confusing.

    Personally, I’m waiting until cases are WAY down before I consider traveling again.

    • Tinnie says:

      Good points. Definitely agree with you.

    • Marcie says:

      Yeah, this is confusing but it’s the same CDC that said masks weren’t necessary at the beginning of the pandemic. Not because it was true, but because they didn’t want there to be a rush on mask buying. They’ve lost all credibility with me. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is some type of airline propaganda.

      • Anna says:

        Agree re: airline propaganda. I’m so irritated that travel is up so high and here we are expecting another resurgence with these other variants that are up to 80% more contagious. I know people want to travel but g-damn, can’t you just wait a while longer? People can be asymptomatic carriers! Wasn’t there some statistic that was 50% of NY-ers with the virus were asymptomatic carriers? And then people want to travel to the continent of Africa where in most countries, people have not been widely exposed or widely vaccinated. It just makes me sick. And it’s such an “American” thing, too, regardless of race, to think that your pleasure comes first.

    • Julia says:

      The CDC has clearly stated that all non essential travel ahold should be avoided. (They say you should only gather with SMALL GROUPS of also-vaccinated people, too.) However, I’m pretty sure they’re looking for comparatively low-risk “rewards” to convince people to get vaccinated. For me, not dying or ending up with horrible long-term health issues is reward enough, but I’ve heard many doctors are worried that we’re about to fall off a “demand cliff” when it comes to the vaccine.

  3. Joanna says:

    I got my first shot a week ago and it has relieved the stress that I’ve been feeling. Can’t wait to go back and get my 2nd shot

  4. Becks1 says:

    I get my second shot next week and I’m so excited. I’m not throwing caution to the wind, I know that these vaccines are really effective and the evidence is showing that they do prevent transmission, but I’m still obviously going to mask up, social distance, etc. But I’m going to feel more comfortable going someplace like a movie theater, where I haven’t felt comfortable going in the past year. We had a big disney trip booked for last august and we rebooked it for this august, and we’re driving, but I feel a lot more comfortable about it now (we booked it thinking “well maybe we’ll end up canceling again if we dont feel comfortable.”)

    We’re not at the end yet but we’re getting closer every day.

  5. Chris says:

    I’m in Canada and it’s been a shitshow here. I’m 39, have a pre existing condition and am now pregnant. We have stopped booking appointments in my province so people under 69 can’t get a shot and the people over mostly haven’t gotten a second shot and won’t be able to. It just feels like it’s going to be forever til we get even a small sense of normalcy back.

    • Darla says:

      Really? I’m so sorry. I don’t understand, Canada was doing so well during the pandemic, why would this happen with the vaccine?

      • Kyla says:

        Lack of supply seems to be a biggest part of the problem in why Canada is lagging so far behind in getting people vaccinated. Plus, the rollout has been a mess and it’s very confusing trying to figure out where and how to book an appointment if you do qualify to be vaccinated at this point.

      • Chris says:

        I thought we secured a lot of vaccine at the start but maybe not. We are having shortages and delays but my sister has been moved from her job and is helping deliver vaccines. The people coordinating said they had vaccines just sitting there and not being distributed because the was no direction of where they should go.

        They set up one super site in my city and my aunt had to wait hours to get her shot. I also read they are having people giving the shots moving from person to person rather then having people come to them which would be quicker. The rollout also varies by province and our local government keeps dropping the ball.

        I think at this point most of Canada is struggling with the variants and it’s just going to keep getting worse. In my province we were in a super strict lockdown from November to February. For the coldest, darkest months of the year we weren’t allowed to go anywhere or buy anything non essential except online. People are out trying to enjoy the weather now but they are saying with the variants you should still be masking and distancing outside but most people aren’t doing that. I’m hoping we don’t implode again and get pushed back into a lockdown. A Town South of me had a 40% positivity rate at one point because they are anti mask. People are ridiculous.

    • deezee says:

      That really depends on which province you are in. Mine (although overall poorly rolled out) is vaccinating 60+ and those with chronic issues.

    • BrainFog says:

      It’s a complete shitshow here in germany aswell. 3 months in we’re at a whopping 5% now of completed vaccinations. Impressive, right? With the current speed we’ll need at least another year or two to have everyone vaccinated, all while businesses are closed by the government, with little to no financial help. Our economy will never recover from this. Our psychology will neither.
      Sorry to hear that things are so bad in Canada too.

    • BeeCee says:

      I’m in BC…. This vaccine rollout is SO bad. I’m getting more and more weary of the vaccine projections, and get so frustrated when the government says they ‘secured” X amount of vaccines… well, where are they then?! Our cases are growing more and more everyday because the general public is giving up. We’re tired, angry, and want to see our loved ones.

      I’m becoming more and more confidant that my fiancé and I won’t be able to have a normal wedding by September. I’m 34, and I’m getting annoyed seeing people younger than me get the vaccine first.

  6. MsIam says:

    I’m getting my shot today. I know some people who are still refusing to get vaccinated but honestly, I feel relieved to get this over with. My hubby got his second shot a couple of weeks ago, so he’s all set.

  7. lucy2 says:

    I’m going to be planning a short vacation for this fall, but driving, not flying. Next year, hopefully, I can do a big overseas trip.
    I definitely want to continue masks on public transportation and planes. I’m going full Naomi Campbell on my next flight!

    • Darla says:

      I’m driving to Woodstock for Memorial Day week. Doing a little hippie vacay. I’m very much looking forward to live music again. Any major vacation I am putting off until next year I think.

      • Amelie says:

        Woodstock is cute but I do find it a little overrated. (If you’re going to Woodstock, NY there are several I know) Just be prepared for the huge crowds, especially if you are going Memorial Day Weekend (and if it’s nice weather). I went to the Catskills last October for some hiking and we stopped in Woodstock after the hike. It was Columbus Day weekend and the weather was super nice and it was PACKED. I am not joking, it felt like a full on music festival and this was before any vaccine rollout. I was super uncomfortable at just how many people there were and hardly went into any stores. I am going to guess there will be lots of vaccinated folks just like you who have the same idea. It’s not far from NYC and lots of people use it as as destination weekend trip.

      • Darla says:

        Yes, NY. Oh wow Amelie. I haven’t been there since the late 90′s, I had no idea. I would love go to hiking so maybe I will spend my days doing that instead.

      • Amelie says:

        Be prepared for the hiking trails to be crowded too! We thought we would get up and have a bit of a lazy morning and go hiking mid-day. We were staying at a family friend’s house and the family friend called us up and warned us to get to the trailhead early because there might not be enough parking. So we did as suggested, we woke early and got to the trailhead around 9 AM and I kid you not, I think my sister snagged the last available parking space in the main lot. When we finished our hike, the line of cars extended onto the access road (they all had tickets btw because you are not supposed to park along it). And when we turned out of North-South Lake (which is where we went there is a popular waterfall there), we realized the local residents living near the trailhead had turned their front lawns and driveways into extra parking and were charging hikers to park on their property!!! It was amazing lol. Not to scare you or anything, that area is so pretty and we still had a great time! There are so many great hikes in the area but be prepared for the crowds, especially if there is nice weather.

  8. TiredMomof2 says:

    I’ve been completely vaccinated since February. I’m double masking whoever I go. My 17 year old son is getting his 2nd vaccine today. We are still doing take out and limiting going into indoor spaces. Not traveling anywhere.

  9. Justwastingtime says:

    My husband and I got our first shot Friday in CA as we are over 50.. just in time to hop on a red eye tonight to my dad’s funeral in FL. He caught COVID in January two weeks away from his Vax and died in early March. Still so angry for him. He did everything right, never left the house for almost a year, but got infected by an asymptotic PT therapist who supposedly tested negative and they both were wearing masks. I just wish I could have gotten the virus instead of him.

  10. L says:

    Houston!!! heck yeah

  11. 2lazy4username says:

    As if people haven’t already been freely traveling throughout the U.S during a pandemic , the majority of which never gave af about the virus and likely won’t get vaccinated.

  12. Amelie says:

    I have a wedding end of July not too far from DC and by the sound of it hopefully most of the guests will be vaccinated by then. It’s not much obviously but I had no intention of going at all unless I was vaccinated and I get my second shot in two days so this makes me hopeful.

    I’ve already made plans to go into NYC, something I haven’t done since March 2020 (apart from a day trip to the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn in December). The last thing I did in the city was see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child the week before lockdown. I was so shocked I never got COVID after being in that theater. I missed out on seeing the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens which usually bloom in April and has become an annual tradition. I’ve made plans to take the train (another huge first!! I haven’t done that at all in over a year) and subway to Brooklyn with a friend to go see them this year and I am so excited. They’ve already started to bloom, you can track them on the website. :D

  13. Becks says:

    I’m fully vaccinated as of last month and plan on going to Mexico in June with my boyfriend. We are staying in the Oaxacan coastline where it is a bit more isolated and easier to social distance. I am so excited to get back to some kind of normal, even if we a are still masked and taking precautions.

  14. J says:

    My husband and I will get our second doses on Friday and I’m really excited, but I still have a 13 yr old and 10 yr old at home, and who knows when they’ll get to be vaccinated.

    I’m just really hoping that my kids can go to full time school in the fall. My 10-yr old’s mental health is really not good right now. :(

  15. JennyJenny says:

    I had my 2nd dose at the end of February and I felt so liberated!!

    But I have also been fighting stage 4 breast cancer with bone metastasis; so any positive little health piece has helped me….

    My best friend and I are tentatively planning on going to an all-inclusive in Cabo at the end of June, if I am stable. My bucket list almost completely consisted of traveling, so I better get busy….

    • Anna says:

      Sending light, best wishes that you are soon back to full health, and cheers for your 2nd dose and your travel plans!

  16. Ann says:

    I’m in Houston, too. I get my second shot tomorrow, yay! Judge Hidalgo et al have done a great job. It was a little tricky to navigate the system but my husband and I will both be set soon, we just had to go to two completely different venues. Whatever it takes.

    I have traveled over the past year because I kind of got stuck when I went to New York to see family once things had eased up there, then things got bad HERE and I ended up being there for four months. I finally just had to come home. I double-masked on the flight. Not fun.

    I can’t wait to travel again. Shout out to the Biden administration, too. They are doing a great job and not afraid to take credit for it, as they should. Those midterms are just around the corner, really.

  17. Tarah says:

    Newsflash! They don’t control if you travel or not- I’ve been traveling this whole time but extremely safe with testing at arrival and have yet to get covid!

  18. Tarah says:

    Newsflash! They don’t control if you travel or not- I’ve been traveling this whole time but extremely safe with testing at arrival and have yet to get covid!