On April, 2, 2021, the Unites States Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued revised travel guidance for fully vaccinated people to reflect the most recent evidence that those individuals can travel with low risk to themselves as long as they continue to wear masks, social distance, and wash hands frequently. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the final dose.

This post discusses the CDC guidelines for domestic travel. The domestic recommendations are pretty much the same as the guidelines for international travel I let you know about here.

The CDC finally gave the green light to domestic travel for fully vaccinated people. The guidance states in sum:

  • People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the United States:
    • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested before or after travel unless their destination requires it
    • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine
  • Fully vaccinated travelers should still follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely including:
    • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
    • Stay 6 feet from others and avoid crowds
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer

(Emphasis added)

The CDC recommends avoiding travel for those who are not fully vaccinated.  If non-vaccinated people must travel, in addition to the recommendations for fully vaccinated people, the CDC recommends: 

  • Before you travel
    • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip.
  • After you travel
    • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
      • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
      • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
    • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
    • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.

The CDC released this guidance after concluding that vaccinated travelers are much less likely to get and spread SARS CoV-2 infections and disease.  That conclusion is consistent with the results of vaccine studies that have been trickling out for the last few months. 

Final Thought

A couple of days before the CDC guidance was released, I came to the same conclusion about the safety of domestic air travel.  I booked a trip from Charlotte, NC to Denver, CO departing March 31 and returning April 1.  The trip was just a chance to get a glimpse of the current state of air travel.  Upcoming posts will report on those experiences.