GREENSBORO, N.C. — Get ready for takeoff! The Centers for Disease Control updated their guidelines for travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency said people who are fully vaccinated can travel domestically without being tested for COVD-19 first. They also do not need to quarantine after travel.
A reminder, the CDC defines fully vaccinated to mean at least two weeks have passed after receiving all the shots in their vaccine series. So, for people who get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, they are fully vaccinated two weeks after their second shot. For those who get Johnson & Johnson, it's just two weeks after their single-dose shot.
Dr. David Priest, Novant Health's infectious disease specialist, said the new guidance is a smart move but warns people should consider their health limits before booking a flight.
"If you have one of those autoimmune conditions and you're on medications that suppress your immune system or you have an immune compromising condition you probably need to be a little more cautious in those settings," Dr. Priest said. "The vaccines aren't perfect, but they are really, really effective."
In terms of international travel, the CDC has a different set of recommendations.
The agency said fully vaccinated people do not need to get tested before traveling abroad unless the country they're traveling to requires testing. The CDC also said people who travel internationally should still get tested and receive a negative test result before returning to the U.S., but they do not need to quarantine.
Priest said there are some factors that make it a little harder for the CDC to set guidance for foreign travel.
"We've seen surges and activity in other places like Europe and Brazil with variants, so I think international travel will be a little slower," Priest said.
Although travelers will have a little more freedom moving forward, the CDC continues to stress regardless of vaccination status, you should still wear masks on all forms of public transportation.