As of this week, all Americans, including permanent residents, who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, can travel freely in and out of the country, provided they continue to wear masks in public. They also do not need to be tested to show they are free of the disease, nor do they have to be quarantined for 14 days as it was until now when returning to the United States, reported the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“People do not need to undergo a COVID-19 test before or after a domestic trip and do not need to self-quarantine upon return, as long as they follow public health measures,” according to the new federal agency rules published in its website.
In addition, the agency said that fully-vaccinated Americans do not need a COVID-19 test to go abroad, unless it is required by the country they are traveling to, which is still necessary on trips to Cuba, for example. However, international travelers still need a negative test, done no more than three days before entering the United States.
However, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky recommended this Friday that Americans should still try not to travel because the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing across the country, although a trip does not pose a great risk to fully-vaccinated people.
“We must balance this guidance with the fact that most Americans are not yet vaccinated,” Walensky said.
The announcement comes as vaccination against the infectious disease is on the rise. More than 50% of Americans 65 and over are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC, and more than 3 million people receive an injection per day.
The CDC released the initial guidelines for vaccinated Americans last month. It then explained that fully-vaccinated people should limit their social interactions to small gatherings at home with other fully-vaccinated people, wear masks in public, and adhere to other safety measures such as social distancing, all this for the foreseeable future.
Since then, senior CDC officials have been working on a new draft to address how and under what circumstances fully-vaccinated Americans can travel—for example, to see family members who are also fully vaccinated.
In any case, on an international level the United States continues to maintain travel regulations for certain countries, and Cuba is on that list of State Department recommendations.