As coronavirus vaccine rollout continues to ramp up across the United States, the list of safe activities for the fully vaccinated is starting to take better shape. While experts still caution that masks, thorough handwashing and COVID-19 tests will remain a part of our lives for the foreseeable future, certain things like small indoor gatherings among vaccinated people and masked travel are going to be considered safer.
In their updated pandemic guidelines for travelers (both foreign and international) released on Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared that fully vaccinated (meaning two weeks after their final dose of the two-part shots or single dose of the one part shot) “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,” the agency says for vaccinated travelers traveling within the United States. “Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine.”
They do, however, note that the safe travel recommendations for fully vaccinated travelers include wearing masks that cover your nose and mouth, staying six feet from others and avoiding crowds and washing hands often.
“CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people,” per their guide. “CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, as rates of COVID-19 change, and as additional scientific evidence becomes available.”
As current data suggests, per the CDC, that vaccinated people are less likely to carry the virus, the news about travel for vaccinated people offers some hope for the future as more and more people are made eligible for the vaccine.
“The authorized mRNA COVID-19 vaccines provided early, substantial real-world protection against infection for our nation’s health care personnel, first responders, and other frontline essential workers,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH said in a statement about the study. “These findings should offer hope to the millions of Americans receiving COVID-19 vaccines each day and to those who will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated in the weeks ahead. The authorized vaccines are the key tool that will help bring an end to this devastating pandemic.”
As infants, toddlers, children and teens under 15 are not yet authorized to receive the vaccine (though studies are in progress on those younger age groups), kids will still fall into the “unvaccinated people” category and thus parents are still encouraged to take precautions such as getting tested within one and three days of travel, wearing masks while traveling and avoiding crowds, continuing to wash hands and use hand sanitizer thoroughly and getting tested with a viral test three to five days after and self-isolating for a week after travel.
The slow trudge toward “normal” continues, but steps toward reclaiming parts of life — like leaving your house without risking the lives of your community — are now in sight.
Before you go, check out our favorite all-natural cough and cold products for kids: