Updated CDC Travel Requirements

travel requirement from cdc

With the coronavirus positivity rates still near all-time highs here in the United States during winter, it makes sense to review the latest CDC travel guidelines for domestic and international travel.

Domestic Travel Requirements

Here are some guidelines to follow when traveling domestically.

Being Fully Vaccinated – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all U.S. citizens should delay traveling domestically until they have been fully vaccinated. At the present time, the CDC is not redefining fully vaccinated to include a recent booster shot if you’re eligible. Boosting is recommended if at least five months have passed since the last Moderna or Pfizer dose, or two months since the Johnson & Johnson dose.

Testing Guidelines – Your vaccination status will determine the recommended testing.

Masking Guidelines – During commercial travel or inside public transit hubs (like airports), passengers over the age of two must wear a mask.

Unvaccinated Travelers – If you are unvaccinated, you are recommended to get a pre-travel test 1-3 days before departure and watch carefully for any signs. Once you return home, you are advised to self-quarantine for five days and receive a post-travel test between days 3 and 5.

Vaccinated Travelers – For travelers who have already been vaccinated, there are no recommendations for pre- or post-travel testing, but they should monitor for symptoms and get tested if they appear.

Observe Local And State Guidelines

Observing the travel guidelines for your destination, as well as your home state’s post-travel policies, is imperative. Several large metropolises require masks and may require proof of a recent recovery or vaccination to engage in select indoor activities like dining and entertainment.

In Hawaii, you will either need to have a negative pre-arrival test or be fully vaccinated in order to waive the mandatory quarantine requirement. None of the other 49 states require that you do so at the moment.

International Travel Guidelines

As the CDC travel recommendations stop at the U.S. border, it is crucial to know the travel requirements for your destination. However, there are a few pre- and post-travel requirements to be aware of.

Testing Guidelines – American visitors to most international destinations are required to undergo a negative pre-arrival test. The CDC recommends unvaccinated travelers take a pre-travel test at least 1-3 days before departure, regardless of the destination’s requirement.

As of December 2021, all Americans at least two years old must have a negative result in order to return to the United States. The Biden Administration changed the U.S. return travel testing requirements.

You must take the test within 24 hours of your return flight to the United States, regardless of your vaccination status. Before, fully vaccinated travelers had up to 72 hours to take the test. The mandatory entry testing should be followed by a post-travel screening 3-5 days after arrival.

Vaccination Requirements – It is not necessary for U.S. citizens to be completely vaccinated to travel abroad unless the destination country requires it. With a negative test result, it is possible to return to the U.S. without restrictions.

U.S. immigration law requires international visitors who are age-eligible to be fully vaccinated before entering.

Isolation Requirements – Returning U.S. residents who are unvaccinated should self-quarantine for five days. In addition, people who have recently recovered from the Coronavirus (unless they are displaying symptoms) are not affected by this recommendation.

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