The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is warning that those who have not taken the COVID-19 vaccine should not travel domestically until they are inoculated against the virus, according to updated guidance issued by the department on Monday.
“Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated,” the CDC website states. “If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for people who are not fully vaccinated.”
“CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, as rates of COVID-19 change, and as additional scientific evidence becomes available,” the website continues. “This guidance applies to travel within the United States and U.S. territories.”
If those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 choose to travel, the CDC recommends taking a viral test 1-3 days prior to leaving. The CDC says travelers should wear a mask and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other people.
After traveling, the CDC says people should take a viral test within five days of returning home and should “stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.”
“Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days,” the website states. “If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.”
The website also states that those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can “travel safely within the United States.”
The guidance further recommends following local and state recommendations and requirements, including wearing masks and social distancing by those who are fully vaccinated.
“You do NOT need to get tested or self-quarantine if you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months,” the CDC website noted. “You should still follow all other travel recommendations.”
In September, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and top public health advisor to President Joe Biden, said he would be “in favor” of a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel.
“I am not going to get ahead of the President,” Fauci said, as reported by Newsweek. “I told others when they asked, and I will repeat it for you, that it is on the table and under consideration. There are going to be a lot of factors going into that. I have expressed that I would be in favor of that if the President decides to do that and if the individuals involved in advising him are in favor of doing that, I would be in favor of doing that.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also said the Biden administration is still considering a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel.
“We haven’t taken options off the table, but I don’t have any updates to share with you at this point. Our focus is on implementation of the big steps we announced last week,” Psaki said, according to The Hill.