CDC: Delay International Travel Until You’re Fully Vaccinated

The United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated.

CDC notes that although fully vaccinated travellers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19, international travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travellers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants.

CDC further notes that if you are fully vaccinated with a US Food and Drug Administration-authorized vaccine:

  • You should continue to follow CDC’s recommendations for travelling safely and get tested 3-5 days after travel.
  • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
  • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.

The COVID-19 situation, including the spread of new or concerning variants differs from country to country, and even fully vaccinated travelers need to pay close attention to the situation at their destination before traveling.

Do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people.

CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, as rates of COVID-19 change, and as additional scientific evidence becomes available.

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

According to CDC, if you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated, therefore, it is recommended that you keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

If you have a condition or are taking medication that weakens your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.

  • Before you travel
    • Make sure you understand and follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements.
    • Check the current COVID-19 situation in your destination.
  • While you are traveling:
    • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth as masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States.
    • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you.
    • Wash your hands often or use a hand sanitiser (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Before you arrive in the United States:
    • All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States.
  • After travel:
    • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
    • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

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