On April 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Americans who have been fully vaccinated with FDA-approved vaccines can safely travel within the United States.
In a statement, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that vaccinated domestic travelers present “low risk” to themselves and others, as long as they continue to wear masks while on planes, trains and buses.
“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,” Walensky said.
The new policy replaces the agency’s previous guidance that Americans should avoid all non-essential trips. It also specifically allows fully vaccinated grandparents to travel to visit healthy grandchildren without undergoing COVID-19 tests or self-isolating.
The CDC said that fully vaccinated people can also travel internationally without testing or quarantine restrictions, but noted that other countries may require COVID-19 tests on entry. It also recommended that international travelers test negative before returning to the U.S.
While the new guidance is an important step toward a return to normalcy for the U.S., Walensky said the “CDC is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases.”
The U.S. is currently averaging around 62,000 new COVID-19 infections per day.
The agency did not lift restrictions for non-vaccinated travelers.
Global travel is starting to increase as more and more people get vaccinated. According to Bloomberg, nearly 630 million vaccine doses have been administered worldwide as of April 2.
The U.S. has so far given nearly 160 million doses, with an average of nearly 3 million doses being administered per day.
Vaccinated people eager to start traveling internationally again have a growing list of countries to choose from. At least 15 countries are now open to fully inoculated tourists, including Estonia, Belize, Iceland, Poland, Moldova and Seychelles.