The new guidance says:
- Fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S., without getting tested for the coronavirus or quarantining. People should still wear a mask, socially distance and avoid crowds, the agency says.
- For international travel, the agency says vaccinated people do not need to get a COVID-19 test before leaving, unless the destination country requires it.
- For travelers coming into the U.S., vaccinated people should still get a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight and be tested three to five days after arrival. They do not need to quarantine. The agency noted the potential introduction of virus variants and differences in vaccine coverage around the world for the cautious guidance on overseas travel.
Already, air travel in the United States has been picking back up. Although traffic remains down by nearly half from a year ago, more than 1 million travelers daily have been going through U.S. airports in recent weeks.
Airlines do not require COVID-19 tests or proof of vaccination for travel in the U.S.
The CDC cited recent research on the real-world effects of the vaccines for its updated guidance. Last month, the agency said fully vaccinated people could visit with each other indoors without wearing masks or social distancing. It also said vaccinated people could visit with unvaccinated people from a single household under similar conditions, as long as the unvaccinated individuals were at low risk for severe illness if infected.
The U.S. began its vaccine rollout in mid-December. Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses given a few weeks apart. A one-shot vaccine by Johnson & Johnson was given the green light by regulators at the end of February.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.