New guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that if you are fully vaccinated you can resume activities you enjoyed prior to the pandemic. This means that vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, or rules required by local businesses and workplaces.
You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose of the Johnson & Jonson vaccine. Individuals taking medications for a condition that weakens their immune system should discuss whether they should be continuing to take any other precautions.
If you travel within the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel. However, you do need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside of the United States. You do not need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it. You do need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States, and you should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel. However, you do not need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States. If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested within 3 days of their flight (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip. You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. However, if you live or work in a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
The new guidance is based on evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death. COVID-19 vaccines also reduce the risk of people spreading COVID-19. Researchers are still learning about the effectiveness of the vaccines against variants of the virus, with early data showing that the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.
The CDC will continue to update its recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html.