According to Our World in Data, as of March 24, 2021, approximately twenty-six percent of the United States population has had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, and approximately fourteen point three percent of the United States population is “fully vaccinated”. Now that more people here have gotten the vaccine recently, those that have been staying inside or socially distancing themselves from others have begun to get “wanderlust” it seems. According to Google, on-line searches for “vaccine travel” and “2021 travel”, along with searches for “cruises”, “hotels”, and “flights”, have gone up significantly within the last three months according to an article by Matthew Speak from TravelPulse entitled “What Travelers Are Thinking Right Now, According to Google” (March 4, 2021). It seems, that there is “pent up demand” for travel, at least in the United States.
What IS the real story about travel now that the vaccine is getting underway in greater number for Americans? Make no mistake, the CDC really doesn’t want Americans to travel domestically or internationally at pre-pandemic numbers just yet and requests that Americans travel “only if they must”. In fact, the CDC requirement from January 26, 2021 that all air passengers aged two and older must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test that’s no more than 72 hours old (or documentation of Covid recovery) to enter the United States still holds true, even for fully vaccinated travelers, according to my telephone call today tot he CDC help line. Vaccination hasn’t been proven to guard against TRANSMISSION of the virus, they maintain, so even vaccinated travelers must follow these rules for entry (or re-entry) into the United States. Travelers also must wear masks and socially distance in public as well. While asymptomatic people who have received the vaccine no longer need to quarantine after travel abroad in general (unless local state restrictions still require this), it is suggested that they refrain from travel until after 14 days after receiving their last vaccine dose. The CDC further says that once you are fully vaccinated, you CAN gather INDOORS with other fully vaccinated people without a mask, however. Of course, symptomatic people who have gotten the vaccine need to quarantine, however.
One last thing to keep in mind while traveling in the United States during the pandemic right now is that all travelers over two years old (except those who have disabilities that preclude mask wearing) utilizing public transportation in the United States must use face masks over the mouth and nose on airplanes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares, and inside airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations, and seaports since on February 2, 2021.
Life is good; carpe diem, friends….