Traveling is low risk for people who have been fully vaccinated and they do not need to self-quarantine or be tested before or after traveling, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday.
The CDC announced the guidance update Friday after facing criticism for its stringent policies even for those who received full vaccinations. The organization now says vaccinated people show a low risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 when they travel, so long as they wear masks and socially distance. The organization still urges unvaccinated people not to travel.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and Biden’s other pandemic response leaders touted the policy change at the White House coronavirus briefing on Friday. Walensky said the science on vaccinated individuals is “rapidly evolving” and the CDC was changing its policies in accordance with new studies. (RELATED: What’s ‘The Science’ For Why Vaccinated Americans Shouldn’t Travel? Fauci Can’t Find An Answer)
She added that Americans don’t need to be tested before traveling internationally unless their destination requires it. However, she said vaccinated people should still be tested within 3-5 days of returning from an international destination.
The CDC considers a person to be “fully” vaccinated two weeks after taking a single-dose vaccine and three weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine.
President Joe Biden and Walensky have maintained a fearful tone on the pandemic in recent days, however, with Walensky saying divergent strains of the virus have her fearing “impending doom.” Biden agreed with her assessment on Monday.
“We’re giving up hard-fought, hard-won gains,” Biden said. “If we let our guard down now, we could see the virus getting worse, not better.”
President Biden says he “shares the sentiment” of CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky who said earlier today that she senses “impending doom” when it comes to coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/Kd7KEVZZgp
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 29, 2021
Airlines already appear to be flaunting CDC guidance, however. Delta is the only remaining airline that currently leaves seats open to ensure socially distanced flights. But the airline recently announced it would be returning to full capacity on its planes May 1.