Federal health officials announced on Friday that Americans fully immunized with the Covid-19 vaccine can safely travel domestically and abroad as long as they take basic precautions, such as wearing masks. This is the government’s long-awaited dire warning. It has saved millions of people from looking forward to their home for the past year.
When announcing the change at a White House press conference, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized that they would prefer people to avoid travel. But they say that mounting evidence of the effectiveness of the vaccine in the real world (it has been provided to more than 1
The change in the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came at a time when the epidemic was full of hope and danger. The national vaccination rate has been accelerating rapidly, and the death toll is declining.
However, as many new variants of the coronavirus spread across the country, cases in many states are increasing rapidly. Just last Monday, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned that if states and cities continue to relax restrictions on public health, it could trigger a fourth wave and told reporters that she feels “endangered.” .
Some public health experts were surprised by Friday’s announcement and expressed concern about the government’s messy signals to the public.
Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr (Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr), professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Columbia Mayman School of Public Health, said: “This is a mixture of’please don’t travel’. Traveling is easier.” “I think it’s very confusing and consistent with the message we heard earlier this week, which is’keep the same’,’persistent’,’wait patiently’.” That made me worry. Public health messaging must be very clear, very consistent, and very simple. “
Dr. Walensky himself appeared to acknowledge the apparently mixed information at a press conference on Friday. “Science has shown us that adequate vaccinations can enable you to do more things safely, and it is important to provide guidance even when cases increase,” she said.
The tourism industry welcomes the new guidelines, hoping that this may be the beginning of a transfer for airlines, hotels and tourist destinations, which have suffered losses for more than a year.
Roger Dow, chief executive of the US Travel Association, an industry group, said in a statement: “As the trip returns, the work in the United States is back.”
Federal officials still insist that people who have not yet been fully vaccinated should not travel at all. This position has been widely supported by public health experts.
Caitlin said: “If you are fully vaccinated, you can return to travel, but if not, there is still a large amount of virus spreading. This is still a risky work and should be postponed until vaccination or the situation improves.” Rivers is an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.
If people who have not been vaccinated must travel, the CDC recommends that they be tested for coronavirus infection one to three days before the trip and three to five days after the trip. The agency said that if they have been tested, they should self-quarantine for 7 days after the trip, and if they have not been tested, they should be quarantined for 10 days.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two weeks after receiving a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 58 million people in the United States, accounting for 22% of the adult population, who have been fully vaccinated.
Scientists are still not sure whether the vaccinated person will be infected, or even briefly infected, and then spread the virus to others. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that such cases may be rare, but until the problem is addressed, many public health officials believe that it is unwise to just tell vaccinated Americans to do whatever they want. They said that it is very important for all vaccinated people to continue to wear masks, conduct social distancing and take other preventive measures.
Under the guidance of the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fully vaccinated Americans traveling within the country do not need to be tested or quarantined for coronavirus at their destination or after returning home. When they travel abroad, they only need to be tested or quarantined for the coronavirus if required by the country they are going to.
However, the guidelines say that they must undergo a negative test for coronavirus before boarding and returning to the United States, and they should be tested again three to five days after returning.
The recommendation is based on the idea that people who are vaccinated may still be infected with the virus. The CDC also mentioned the lack of vaccine coverage in other countries and is concerned that new variants of the virus may be circulating and spread overseas.
As the pace of national vaccination has accelerated, most states have accelerated the timetable for opening up vaccination to all adults.Data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that as of Friday, an average of nearly 3 million injections had to be given every day
The new recommendation adds to the CDC’s recommendation issued in early March, which states that fully vaccinated people can gather in groups in private environments without masks or social distancing, and can interact with people from one person. Unvaccinated people in the family make contact as long as they are at low risk of development. If you are infected with the virus, it is a serious illness.
As the weather warms and Americans are getting tired of pandemic restrictions, travel across the country has increased. Since the beginning of the pandemic, last Sunday was the busiest day at domestic airports. According to statistics from the US Transportation Security Administration, nearly 1.6 million people passed security checkpoints at US airports.
However, the industry’s concerns are far from over. The pandemic also shows to large and small companies that their employees can often work remotely like face-to-face meetings. As a result, the airline and hotel industry predict that it will take several years for lucrative corporate travel to return to pre-pandemic levels, leaving a gap in revenue.
According to data from the American Aviation Industry Group, although leisure travel within the United States may be steadily recovering, airlines predict that by 2023 or 2024, the number of passengers will still need to be at the level of 2019. The organization said the industry lost more than $35 billion last year and continues to lose tens of millions of dollars every day.
Many countries, including EU countries, still prevent the arrival of most Americans. Some people started to provide exceptions for those who were vaccinated.For example, from March 26, fully vaccinated Americans who can provide proof of vaccination can visit Iceland and avoid restrictions such as testing and quarantine, the government said
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also issued a more detailed technical note on cruise companies on Thursday, requiring them to take steps to develop vaccination strategies and develop plans to conduct routine tests on crew members and report Covid-19 cases daily , And then they can conduct a simulated sea trial. Before recruiting real passengers. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directive recognizes that patrols “always carry the risk of Covid-19 transmission”.
Some destinations and cruise companies have begun to require passengers to be fully vaccinated. Royal Caribbean Cruises requires passengers and crew of 18 years and older, as well as crews of Virgin Voyages, Crystal Cruises and other companies to be vaccinated.
Currently, airlines do not need to be vaccinated. But this idea has been widely discussed in the industry.
Niraj Chokshi contributed the report.