Fully-vaccinated Americans can now travel freely without having to quarantine or test for COVID-19, according to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Specifically, Americans who are two weeks out from their final vaccine shot can travel both domestically and internationally and do not need to quarantine when they arrive home unless required by their local jurisdiction, the CDC announced Friday.
International travelers, however, are still required to get tested within three days of boarding a flight to the U.S., regardless of their vaccination status, and should still get re-tested upon returning home. Additionally, all travelers are required to wear face masks when on public transportation, including on a plane and in an airport.
"Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19," the agency's update read. "However, international travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants."
Testing requirement also remain in place depending on a traveler's destination.
"The CDC's new travel guidance is a major step in the right direction that is supported by the science and will take the brakes off the industry that has been hardest hit by the fallout of COVID by far," President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Roger Dow, told Travel + Leisure in a statement. "Acknowledging that vaccinations eliminate the need for testing and quarantines removes a key barrier to domestic travel. Rescinding the recommendation that international visitors must quarantine also is an important incremental step."
The decision comes just days after CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky pleaded with Americans to "please limit travel" amid a rise in cases and record numbers of Americans taking to the skies. The CDC still discourages non-essential travel for Americans who are not fully vaccinated.