Anyone who's been holding off on trying to get a COVID vaccine may now have a new incentive. Politico reports that the CDC on Friday updated its guidance on travel during the pandemic, saying Americans can feel free to travel around the US and internationally, as long as they're fully vaccinated—which means two weeks after their final shot, per NBC News—and continue to follow appropriate health and safety protocols. Not only that, but immunized travelers who are traveling domestically don't have to get a COVID test before or after travel, unless certain localities require it, and they don't have to self-quarantine. International travelers who've been vaccinated also don't need to take a COVID test before heading overseas, unless their destination country requires one, or self-quarantine upon arriving back in the US.
However, the Wall Street Journal notes that anyone coming to the US from abroad, including Americans coming home from overseas trips, will still need proof of a negative COVID test or documentation showing they've recently recovered from COVID before boarding the plane. The New York Times notes that the CDC also recommends Americans who've just come back from travels abroad should get tested again three to five days after getting home, in case they still became infected with the virus despite being vaccinated. The CDC advises that even travelers who are fully vaccinated should keep wearing masks in public places (including airports and train and bus stations), avoid crowds, and continue social distancing. The CDC last month eased up on some of its restrictions for vaccinated individuals, but at that time it still discouraged nonessential travel. (Read more coronavirus stories.)