BLOOMBERG – Federal authorities said fully vaccinated people can resume recreational travel in the U.S. at “low risk,” and signaled a relaxation of operational guidelines for cruise ships, handing a major boost to the nation’s battered tourism industry.
Releasing its long-awaited travel guidance Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinated individuals don’t need a Covid test and don’t need to quarantine when traveling domestically.
They should still wear a mask and avoid crowds.
And in a separate statement, the CDC set out initial recommendations to help get cruise ships sailing again, including a timeline for vaccinating crew, and updating a color-coding system to classify whether a vessel should be clear to leave port.
The advice comes as the pace of inoculations in the U.S. quickens. More than 100 million people have been given at least one shot.
Meanwhile, more contagious variants threaten to ignite a new wave of Covid-19 cases and as millions of Americans hit the skies anyhow.
Carriers including United Airlines Holdings Inc. are already flying at as much as 80% of capacity, and 1.6 million people passed through TSA checkpoints on Thursday, well above the 124,000 who did so a year before.
For international travel, people don’t need a test unless it’s required by their destination country and don’t need to quarantine once back in the U.S., but should be tested before boarding a return flight.
The head of the CDC said she still recommends against non-essential travel — even for vaccinated people — but that the agency has a duty to update its guidance as more science becomes available.
“We know that right now we have a surging number of cases. I would advocate against general travel overall,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a White House briefing.
“Our guidance is silent on recommending or not recommending fully vaccinated people travel; our guidance speaks to the safety of doing so. If you are vaccinated, it’s lower risk … ”
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