On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people can travel safely at low risk after the agency had been delayed on revising guidance for weeks on all non-essential trips.
The announcement addressing the agency's requirement that all Americans should avoid non-essential travel should be a shot in the arm for a U.S. travel industry still struggling since the COVID 19 crisis began in early 2020. The new CDC guidance specifically greenlights vaccinated grandparents getting into airplanes to see grandchildren.
On March 22, a group representing major U.S. airlines including United Airlines Southwest Airlines and other trade groups urged the CDC to update its guide on how 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 vaccinated can fly without a COVID 19 test or self-quarantining, as long as they follow the advice of the CDC for traveling safely.
But the administration is not lifting restrictions that bars most non-U.S. citizens from Europe who have been in China, Brazil, South Africa and most of the United States in recent time. It is also required that almost all international U.S. air visitors to get a negative COVID- 19 test before traveling to the United States are passed.
CDC director Rochelle Walensky did not update the 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, said CDC director David Tilden in a statement.
The CDC's new guidance says fully vaccinated people do not need COVID 19 tests before international travel unless it is required by the international destination and vaccinated people returning from foreign travel do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States unless they are required by state or local authorities.
The CDC continued to change the guidance in recent weeks repeatedly and declined that it was still discouraging non-essential travel because of a concern about new variants.
Many Americans have not followed the CDC's advice; the Transportation Security Administration screened 1.56 million people at U.S. airports, just below Sunday's 1.57 million, which was the highest daily total since March 2020.
The last time the airport passengers screened was below 1 million was March 10. The Biden administration has taken steps to reduce public travel and mandated masks in nearly all forms of international transit. The administration is not going to eliminate mask rules;