CDC says fully vaccinated people don't need post-travel quarantine

QUARANTINE: Guam National Guard soldiers package toiletries to be delivered to travelers in quarantine at the Dusit Beach Resort on Oct. 9, 2020. Post file photo

People who have vaccinated fully against COVID-19 can travel within the U.S. without getting the COVID-19 test or quarantining after travel, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency stated on Friday that fully vaccinated people “can travel at low risk to themselves.” A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech require booster shots 28 and 21 days, respectively, after the first dose. Johnson & Johnson, the third vaccine available in Guam, is a single-shot vaccine.

In response to the CDC’s statement, Adelup said there are no changes to local policies.

Travelers coming to Guam must quarantine for 14 days; first in a government facility where they’re monitored and then tested on day six at which time they can get tested and if results are negative, they can complete the 14-day quarantine at home or a hotel of their choice.

'“We are tracking the latest guidance from CDC relative to vaccinated travelers. At this time, our quarantine protocols remain the same,” Adelup communications director Krystal Paco-San Agustin stated.

The news comes as Guam works to vaccinate 50% of the vaccine-eligible residents - that's everyone ages 16 and older. 

As of Friday night, there were 31,977 Guamanians fully vaccinated. 

The CDC does state that travelers can avoid testing and quarantine requirements “as long as they continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling – wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, socially distancing, and washing hands frequently.”

“With millions of Americans getting vaccinated every day, it is important to update the public on the latest science about what fully vaccinated people can do safely, now including guidance on safe travel,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “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. Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life, so we encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity.”

Because of the potential introduction and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, differences in disease burden and vaccines, and vaccine coverage around the world, CDC is providing the following guidance related to international travel:

• Fully vaccinated people can travel internationally without getting a COVID-19 test before travel unless it is required by the international destination.

• Fully vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.

• Fully vaccinated people must still have a negative COVID-19 test result before they board a flight to the United States and get a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days after returning from international travel.

• Fully vaccinated people should continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling internationally.

The guidance issued today does not change the agency’s existing guidance for people who are not fully vaccinated, the CDC press release stated. Unvaccinated travelers should still get tested one to three days before domestic travel and again three to five days after travel. They should stay home and self-quarantine for seven 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.

The CDC also noted that due to the large number of Americans who remain unvaccinated and the current state of the pandemic, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands frequently and avoiding crowds when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19.

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