CDC updates guidance for USA travellers

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its travel guidance for fully vaccinated Americans.

Given recent studies evaluating the real-world effects of vaccination, the CDC now recommends that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of vaccine.

Fully vaccinated people can travel within the United States and do not need COVID-19 testing or post-travel self-quarantine as long as they continue to take COVID-19 precautions while travelling – including wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, socially distancing, and washing hands frequently.

Because of the potential introduction and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, differences in disease burden and vaccines, and vaccine coverage around the world, the CDC is providing the following guidance related to international travel:

  • Fully vaccinated people can travel internationally without getting a COVID-19 test before travel unless it is required by the international destination.
  • Fully vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.
  • Fully vaccinated people must still have a negative COVID-19 test result before they board a flight to the United States and get a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after returning from international travel.
  • Fully vaccinated people should continue to take COVID-19 precautions while travelling internationally.

Unvaccinated travellers should still get tested 1-3 days before domestic travel and again 3-5 days after travel. They should stay home and self-quarantine for seven days after travel or 10 days if they don’t get tested at the conclusion of travel. The CDC discourages non-essential domestic travel by those who are not fully vaccinated.

Because of the current situation in Canada, the CDC recommends even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Canada.

The border between the two countries has been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020. Essential medical tourism to and from the two countries is allowed but with very strict rules that have greatly restricted numbers.