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PACK YOUR BAGS: Restrictions Loosened For Fully-Vaccinated Travelers

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky: “Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life.”
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky: “Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life.” Photo Credit: Ptrump16, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Federal health officials on Friday loosened the restrictions – and increased the incentives -- for fully-vaccinated Americans to “return to the things we love about life,” including leaving on a jet plane.

Although the government hasn’t required the coronavirus vaccine for travel, officials said anyone who is two weeks past his or her final shot doesn’t need a COVID test before going on domestic trips.

You also don’t need to self-quarantine after travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

You should, however, follow other public health recommendations, including wearing masks on planes, trains, buses, subways and other forms of public transit if you get out of Dodge, the CDC said.

You can also travel internationally without a pre-flight test if you’re vaccinated unless it’s required by the destined country, federal officials said

You should, however, get a negative test result before hopping an international flight back to the States.

It’s a major change to an approach that had discouraged even those vaccinated from traveling.

It means easier movement for those who want to visit family or take vacation and should also be a booster shot to the travel and airline industries.

Federal authorities are touting evidence of the increased effectiveness of the vaccine in protecting against both infection and the spread of the virus.

Results announced this week of a study of 4,000 or so health-care personnel and essential workers showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines reduced the risk of infection by 80% two weeks after only the first shot.

Protection grew to 90% two weeks after the second dose.

It was the very first study of the vaccine’s effectiveness against infection instead of just symptomatic cases.

Federal authorities also cite the accelerated pace of vaccinations: As of Friday, an estimated 100 million Americans will have received their first dose, roughly 17% of the country’s total population, the CDC said.

That includes one of every five adults and more than half of senior citizens, the center said.

“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,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said. “Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life.”

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