Americans who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 can travel, CDC says

By Luke Money

Los Angeles Times

People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely travel within the United States and abroad as long as they continue to take precautions like wearing a mask in public, according to new guidance released Friday by the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In its updated guidance, the agency still “recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.”

With cases rising in some parts of the country and across the globe, the CDC “is not recommending travel at this time,” said agency director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

Fully vaccinated people who are traveling internationally do not need to be tested for COVID-19 before leaving the United States unless their destination requires them to be, and they do not need to self-quarantine upon arriving in the country, federal health officials said. However, all air passengers coming into the U.S. must have a negative coronavirus test result from no more than three days before their travel date.

The CDC also recommends that people get tested three to five days after travel.

Domestic travelers who are fully vaccinated — meaning two weeks have passed since their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shot or their one and only Johnson & Johnson shot — do not need to self-quarantine upon arriving at their destination and “do not need to get tested before or after travel unless their destination requires it,” according to the CDC.

That could come into play in California.

According to the state’s travel advisory, all travelers should get tested one to three days before starting their journeys, and nonessential travelers should get tested three to five days upon arrival into California and self-quarantine for a full seven days after travel, even if their test is negative. The state travel advisory also says nonessential travelers who don’t get tested should self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

Additionally, “nonessential travelers from other states or countries, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, are strongly discouraged from entering California,” according to the state.

California on Thursday lifted its statewide advisory that asked leisure travelers to stay within 120 miles of home.