The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said fully vaccinated people can safely travel at low risk after the agency had held off on revising guidance for weeks on non-essential trips.
The announcement that all Americans should avoid non-essential travel should assist the U.S. travel industry which is still significantly struggling since the Covid 19 crisis began in early 2020. The new CDC guidelines specifically greenlights vaccinated grandparents to see grandchildren on airplanes.
On March 22, a group representing major American airlines including Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and other trade groups urged the CDC to update its guidelines immediately to say vaccinated individuals can travel safely.
The new guidance will also say fully vaccinated people do not need to take a Covid 19 test before or after travel and do not need to self-quarantine after travel.
The CDC said grandparents who have been fully vaccinated can fly without a Covid-19 test or self-quarantining as long as they follow the CDC advice for traveling safely.
But the administration is not lifting restrictions on all non-U.S. citizens from the United States who have been in Europe since 2012 and most recently in China, Brazil, South Africa and Europe. It is also keeping demands that almost all international U.S. air visitors get a negative COVID 19 test before flying to the United States.
The CDC has not revised their Guidance for non-vaccinated people; Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life, so we encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.
The new guidance for CDC says fully vaccinated people do not need COVID 19 tests before international travel unless it is required by the foreign destination and vaccinated people returning from foreign travel do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by the state or local authorities.
The CDC had repeatedly declined to change the guidance in recent weeks and repeated it was still diseminating non-essential travel because of a concern over new variants.
Many Americans have not heeded the advice of the Transportation Security Administration; 1.56 million people are screened at the U.S. airports, just below Sunday's 1.57 million, which has been the highest daily total since March 2020.
The last time the number of passengers screened was below 1 million was on 10 March 2007. The Biden administration has taken steps to reduce public travel and mandated masks in nearly all forms of international transit. The administration is not eliminating any mask rules.