Fully vaccinated Americans can now travel domestically. Here’s what you should know before you jump on a plane.

Monica HumphriesFri, 2 April 2021, 8:23 pm

A masked traveler boards a plane.
A masked traveler boards a plane. FG Trade/Getty Images
  • The CDC announced that fully vaccinated travelers can travel domestically in the US.
  • Fully vaccinated people do not have to quarantine or get tested before or after travel.
  • Experts told Insider that vaccinated travelers should mask up, social distance, and avoid crowds.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people can safely travel within the US.

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive their last dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the CDC. The guidance also applies to people who recovered from the coronavirus in the last three months.

The news follows studies that show the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines in the real world.

“It’s common sense,” Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, told Insider. “If you’re vaccinated, you’ve well protected yourself from coronavirus, and your chances of transmitting to someone else has decreased, too.”

Now that domestic travel can resume, travelers still need to do some research before booking and take precautions when they hop on a plane.

Research your destination before you book

If you're dreaming of a beach vacation, the map can help you find a destination that's open to travelers right now. PBNJ Productions/Getty Images/United Airlines website
If you’re dreaming of a beach vacation, the map can help you find a destination that’s open to travelers right now. PBNJ Productions/Getty Images/United Airlines website

Before booking a trip, do your research.

Some states, like California, are currently discouraging tourism, while other places have rules in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

At the time of writing, states like Hawaii and California still require a negative COVID test or mandatory quarantine for incoming visitors.

The handy interactive map highlights the places open to US travelers in real-time and what they can expect.

To be a responsible traveler, consider how locals in the destination feel about an influx of travelers right now.

For example, numerous residents in Hawaii have voiced concerns about the flood of visitors and the lack of tourists following the island’s COVID protocols.

You still need to wear a mask and social distance

Woman listening to music while flying on an airplane wearing a facemask - stock photo
A person wears a face mask while flying on an airplane. Hispanolistic/Getty Images

The CDC’s guidance states that vaccinated people can resume travel as long as they still wear a mask.

As Insider previously reported, wearing a mask will continue to be necessary until more Americans have received the vaccine.

Vaccinated travelers should also continue hand washing and social distancing.

You should still avoid crowded destinations and indoor dining

Couple enjoying the empty Pantheon in Rome, wearing protective face masks during COVID-19 pandemic - stock photo
A duo explores the empty Pantheon in Rome, Italy. Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images

Wen said that what you’re doing when you travel matters more than your vaccination status.

“It’s not the travel I’m concerned about, it’s the behaviors that people engaged in,” Wen said.

Health experts, including Wen, have previously told Insider that it’s smart for fully vaccinated individuals to continue to avoid places where COVID can spread easily.

This includes places and activities like indoor dining, indoor bars, crowded tourist destinations, crowded airports, and concerts.

You do not need to quarantine, but it could be smart depending on your circumstances

Part of the CDC’s latest guidance also includes that fully vaccinated people and those who have recovered from the virus do not need to quarantine.

Health experts previously told Insider that quarantining might be smart in a few outlying circumstances.

Two main things should influence your decision to quarantine: What you did on the trip and who you live with.

If your trip involved risky activities, like dining indoors, going to concerts and bars, or visiting crowded destinations, it’s smart to quarantine when you get home if you live with immunocompromised, unvaccinated individuals, Wen said.

In that scenario, Wen said the traveler should quarantine for five to seven days and then get tested.

Otherwise, quarantining isn’t necessary.

“If you’re fully vaccinated and you’re being very careful on your trip, and when you come back, you continue to be careful, and you’re not having symptoms, there’s likely very little benefit to having you quarantine,” Malani previously told Insider.

Consider testing if you’re visiting immunocompromised, unvaccinated people

covid testing college students
A college student receives a COVID test. Youngrae Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The new guidance states that vaccinated individuals are not required to test before or after traveling domestically.

At this time, many international destinations still require visitors to bring a negative COVID test, and the US still requires a negative test to enter the country.

Wen said that in the same circumstances where you would quarantine, it could also be smart to get tested.

For example, if a traveler is visiting an immunocompromised family member who hasn’t received the vaccine yet, it would be smart to get tested before that trip.

Read the original article on Insider

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