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Don't Go to the Airport Without This, Says Doctor

Learn how to celebrate the holidays and travel safely by reading these 8 tips.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab
woman with smartphone going on holiday, wearing face masks at the airport

"Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its travel guidance for fully vaccinated people to reflect the latest evidence and science," said the agency. As a doctor, I know how grateful patients are for sage advice—and also how these agency guidelines can sometimes be confusing. Learn how to celebrate the holidays and travel safely by reading these 8 tips—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.

1

Fully Vaccinated Individuals Can Travel

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People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can travel within the United States and do NOT need COVID‑19 testing or post‑travel self‑quarantine as long as they continue to take precautions while traveling.

2

Vaccinated People Still Need To Wear A Mask—Don't Go to the Airport Without One!

woman sitting inside airplane wearing KN95 FFP2 protective mask
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According to the CDC, if you're fully vaccinated you do not need to self‑quarantine. But you NEED to wear a mask while in public.

3

How Do I Know If I'm Fully Vaccinated Against COVID?

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You are fully vaccinated two weeks after the second shot of Pfizer's or Moderna's vaccine. If you received J&J's vaccine, two weeks after the single dose. 

4

What if You Are Not Vaccinated?

Doctor showing covid-19 tube test and sampling swab.
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"The guidance issued today does not change the agency's existing guidance for people who are not fully vaccinated," says the CDC. "Unvaccinated travelers should still get tested 1-3 days before domestic travel and again 3-5 days after travel. They should stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel or 10 days if they don't get tested at the conclusion of travel.  CDC discourages non-essential domestic travel by those who are not fully vaccinated."

5

What Proof Of Vaccination Is Required?

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Take your vaccine card with you while traveling. Although there isn't an "immune checkpoint," some venues like air companies, hotels and businesses may ask you for it.

6

Does It Apply To International Travel?

Traveling woman doing the check-in at the airport wearing a face mask.
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The CDC still recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated. But if you must, you do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it. And you do NOT need to self‑quarantine after arriving in the United States.

Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID‑19. However, international travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID‑19 variants.

7

Here's How To Keep Safe When Travelling

Virus mask woman travel wearing face protection in prevention for coronavirus at airport.
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  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
  • Stay 6 feet from others and avoid crowds
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer

According to the new CDC Guidance issued April 2nd, 2021.

RELATED: Most COVID Patients Did This Before Getting Sick

8

Enjoy Your Holidays With Loved Ones

Mother with her adult son sitting on a wooden pier near forest lake.
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Remember that we are all in this together. Isolation can be overwhelming and it's important to check on your emotional and mental health. Mental health matters, there is always hope, you are loved, you are worth it. 

US Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800‑273‑8255

US Mental Health Resources: 800‑662‑4357

And importantly, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leo Nissola, MD
Leo Nissola, MD, is a medical expert, physician and scientist whose work focuses on understanding and fighting advanced-stage cancers with the immune system by designing innovative clinical trials Read more