On April 2, 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) announced that fully vaccinated Americans can freely travel in the U.S. without getting a COVID-19 test, or self-quarantining. “Fully vaccinated” individuals means those who have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots or one shot of the single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.
The CDC recommends not travelling if possible, but those who are fully vaccinated may travel in the U.S. without prior testing or quarantining so long as travelers continue to follow federal travel laws. Currently, federal law mandates that masks must be worn at airports, onboard domestic U.S. flights and in all transport hubs. Although federal guidelines and requirements have changed regarding domestic travel, if a state has additional travel restrictions such as a need to test negative before entering the state then state restrictions must be followed. Those traveling out of state for business are less likely to know certain state restrictions than those traveling to visit family in a state who likely already know their state restrictions, for example. It is recommended for business travelers especially to check for any travel restrictions within their destination state which can be found here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-planner/index.html.
The CDC guidance does not mention whether people need proof of vaccination to travel, though no U.S. airlines currently require such documentation. If an individual is not fully vaccinated, the CDC advises against travel unless they are tested before traveling out of state.
The same rules apply to fully vaccinated people traveling internationally, with some exceptions. A coronavirus test will not be required before departure from the U.S. unless mandated by the government of their destination. Again, it is recommended those traveling to another country review that country’s specific travel restrictions. Similarly, business travelers may be less likely to know the restrictions of their destination country and are encouraged to review those country’s travel restrictions which may be found here https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html.
All international travelers arriving or returning to the U.S. will need to show a negative COVID-19 viral test and are advised to take a test three to five days after their return but will not need to self-quarantine. Those traveling internationally for business should keep a copy of their negative COVID-19 test and prepare for any delay if you happen to test positive or do not receive your tests results in time to return to the U.S.
The CDC provides that mitigation measures remain recommended for all travelers including wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands frequently.
Virtus Law, PLLC continues to monitor developments in this area and will continue to post relevant updates to this website.