The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidelines for fully vaccinated Americans in April, saying traveling both nationally and internationally is low risk.
The long-awaited recommendations were issued by federal health officials after a series of studies found vaccines administered in the United States to be highly effective at preventing infections under real conditions.
One is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna injections.
If you decide to travel, you may still have a few questions. Here are the answers.
Will I still need to wear a mask and socialize when traveling?
Yes. By federal law, masks must be worn at airports in the United States, on domestic flights, and at all transportation hubs. The CDC says that as long as coronavirus action is taken in these scenarios, including wearing a mask, fully vaccinated Americans can travel within the country without having to take a test or quarantine, although the agency advises that some states and territories may keep their local travel restrictions and recommendations in place.
For those wishing to travel internationally, a coronavirus test will not be required prior to departure from the United States, unless mandated by the government of their destination. Vaccinated travelers should still get tested three days before traveling by air to the United States and are advised to be tested three to five days after returning home, but will not need to self-quarantine.
Can I go abroad?
Yes, but only to countries that will have you.
More than half of the world’s countries have reopened their doors to tourists from the United States, including some countries in the European Union, which recently reopened their borders to vaccinated travelers ahead of the summer tourist season.
Other places like Turkey, Croatia and Montenegro have already welcomed Americans with negative test results. Greece also joined this growing list in May, ahead of most European countries, opening up to fully vaccinated tourists and other foreigners with a negative test.
Many Caribbean countries have reopened to American tourists, but each has their own coronavirus protocols and entry requirements.
Here is a full list of countries that Americans can currently travel to.
What about domestic travel? Is it free and clear to cross state borders?
If you’re fully vaccinated, the CDC says you can travel freely in the United States and don’t need to be tested or quarantined before or after your trip. But some states and local governments may choose to keep travel restrictions in place, including testing, quarantine, and stay-at-home orders. Hawaii, for example, still has travel restrictions.
Before crossing state borders, check the rules in place at your destination.
How will they check that I am properly vaccinated?
At this time, the best way to prove that you have been vaccinated is to show your vaccination card.
Digital vaccines and health certificates showing that people have been vaccinated or tested are at various stages of development around the world and are expected to be widely used to speed up travel over time.
The subject of “vaccine passports” is currently one of the most debated topics within the travel industry, with questions about the fairness of their use and concerns about health and data privacy.
In early April, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida issued an executive order prohibiting local governments and state enterprises from requiring proof of vaccination for services.
And in March, the European Union approved its own vaccine certificate, but each European country is still expected to set its own rules for travel requirements this summer.
But what about my children? What are the instructions for traveling with unvaccinated people?
The CDC advises against people traveling unless they have been vaccinated. If you must travel, the agency recommends testing one to three days before a trip and following all coronavirus advice at your destination.
In May, the FDA extended its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to include adolescents aged 12 to 15.
All air passengers aged two and over entering the United States, including those fully vaccinated, must test negative for Covid-19 no later than three days before boarding their flight.
What is my moral obligation to the places I visit where most people are not vaccinated?
The deployment of immunization in the United States has been among the fastest in the world, but there is a significant gap between its rapid deployment and immunization programs in different countries. Some countries have not yet reported administration of a single dose.
Many countries are currently experiencing an increase in the number of new cases and are implementing strict coronavirus protocols, including mask warrants in public spaces, capacity limits at restaurants and tourist sites, and other restrictions on locking.
It’s important to check coronavirus case rates, measurements, and medical infrastructure before you travel to your destination and not to let your guard down when you get there. Even if you are fully vaccinated, you can still transmit the disease to local communities who have not yet been vaccinated.
You can follow coronavirus vaccination deployments around the world here.
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