Fully Vaccinated? Travel Options Just Got a Little Better

If you’re fully vaccinated, travel could become safer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

But don’t start booking your plane tickets just yet — the CDC’s guidance doesn’t vary wildly from what the agency and other experts have said all along — travel if you must, but leisure travel should be more circumspect for the time being.

At a press briefing Friday, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky explained that fully-vaccinated travelers — that is, travelers who have had both immunizations and have waited the two weeks after the last shot — could travel without needing a COVID-19 test before or after traveling, and they won’t need to self-quarantine.

“We state that fully vaccinated people can resume travel to low — at low risk to themselves,” she said. “For domestic travel, fully vaccinated people do not need to get a COVID-19 test before or after travel and do not need to self-quarantine after travel.

“For example, fully vaccinated grandparents can fly to visit their healthy grandkids without getting a COVID-19 test or self-quarantining, provided they follow the other recommended prevention measures while traveling.”

Those recommended prevention measures include wearing masks on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation, she said.

“And while we believe that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, CDC is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases,” she said, adding that the agency would continue to revise and refine its guidance based on additional evidence and data.

“These data continue to be clear: Despite the good news on the vaccination front, we simply cannot yet afford to relax the prevention strategies,” she said. “We must continue the practice of mitigation strategies we know work, like wearing a mask and physical distancing, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to see the end of this pandemic.

“This is a pivotal moment for our country.  As I said before, we are taking unprecedented actions to vaccinate the public as quickly as possible, and millions are being vaccinated each and every day. “

In additional news:

  • Dallas County reported 270 new cases and 21 deaths Friday, and 294 new cases and 20 deaths on Saturday. Among the deaths were six individuals in their 20s and 30s, and half did not have any underlying high-risk medical conditions.
  • The Texas Department of State Health Services is allocating 1,094,920 first doses to 2,011 providers in 200 counties, the largest number of doses and providers to date. DSHS is ordering 626,290 second doses for people vaccinated a few weeks ago. An estimated 900,000 additional first and second doses are expected to be available to pharmacy locations, federally-qualified health centers and dialysis centers as allocated directly by the federal government. You can see the local allocations here.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech said last week that studies showed that their vaccine remained highly effective against COVID-19 after six months, and early results have found that the vaccine is effective against at least one variant of the virus.

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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, former Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. She's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy.

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