Despite the growing number of vaccinated Americans, the CDC advises US residents to refrain from traveling due to new COVID-19 outbreaks.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, said that despite the relatively low risks for fully vaccinated people, public health authorities are urging Americans to refrain from traveling for now because of new coronavirus outbreaks occurring across the country. Walensky said this while talking to reporters at the White House, the Reuters news agency reported.
“We know that right now, the number of cases (infections) is growing. I am opposed to regular travel in general,” Walensky said. “At this time, we do not recommend travel, especially to unvaccinated people.”
Walensky announced the agency she heads announced a change in its travel recommendations on Friday morning. The document says there is a “low risk” of travel for people who have been fully vaccinated. The CDC has allowed vaccinated seniors to travel by air. Also, vaccinated people do not have to undergo testing on arrival and comply with quarantine if they take all precautions, wear masks, and keep a distance.
Roger Dow, executive director of the US Travel Association, called the new CDC guidance “an important step in the right direction,” which was made in accordance with scientific recommendations and is intended to help the tourism and aviation industries most affected by the consequences of the pandemic.
Simultaneously, the administration has not lifted the ban on entry to the United States for most foreigners who have recently visited China, Brazil, South Africa, and most of the European states. The CDC did not remove the requirement for all foreigners to provide a negative test for COVID-19 before traveling to the United States.
A White House official told Reuters that the Biden administration had begun negotiations on a possible lifting of the bans. Still, it is unlikely that this will happen soon. The US also maintains restrictions on entry across the land borders with Canada and Mexico.
Meanwhile, the campaign to vaccinate Americans continues at an accelerated pace. As of Friday morning, 157.6 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have already been administered in the United States. More than 204 million doses have already been distributed across the country, the CDC said.
101.8 million Americans – more than a third of the entire adult population-received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 57.9 million US residents, or 17.5% of the country’s adult population, were fully vaccinated.