However, experts say the USA appears to be entering into another surge in coronavirus cases this spring, which is partially due to more travel.
The CDC released its long-awaited travel guidance on Friday amid the accelerating pace of vaccinations in the USA, even as more contagious variants threaten to ignite a new wave of Covid-19 cases and as millions of Americans hit the skies anyhow.
"While we believe that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, CDC is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases", CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House Covid-19 Response team briefing Friday."We continue to encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as it's their turn, so we can begin to safely take steps back to our everyday lives".
Khan said the update reinforces the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, and is another incentive for people to get vaccinated.
All people, even if vaccinated, should still wear masks on planes, the CDC said. Those people should still get tested one to three days before travel, and again three to five days afterward.
Domestic travelers who are fully vaccinated - meaning two weeks have passed since their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shot or their one and only Johnson & Johnson shot - do not need to self-quarantine upon arriving at their destination and "do not need to get tested before or after travel unless their destination requires it", according to the CDC. Unvaccinated travelers should still get tested 1-3 days before domestic travel and again 3-5 days after travel. They do not need to quarantine.
Unless required to do so by the global destination, fully vaccinated people no longer require a test, and they no longer have to self-quarantine after returning to the USA, unless required to do so by a state or local jurisdiction. The agency noted the potential introduction of virus variants and differences in vaccine coverage around the world for the cautious guidance on overseas travel.
Masks are still recommended, along with social distancing and other precautions.
The CDC cited recent research on the real-world effects of the vaccines for its updated guidance.