12 Feb CDC Urges Public to Avoid Travel
In a recent White House briefing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky recommended that Americans continue to avoid travel.
Specifically, Walensky said that air travel is a high-risk activity for COVID-19 spread as “there’s more gathering that happens in airports.”
Walensky’s statement is consistent with the CDC’s online travel guidance, which states that cases “are extremely high” and urges Americans, “Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”
The recommendation comes ahead of Presidents Day weekend and after a post-holiday increase in COVID-19 cases, which reached an all-time high in January. It also follows a recent CDC order requiring masks for most domestic travel, consistent with an executive order recently signed by President Joe Biden promoting COVID-19 safety in domestic and international travel.
Air Travel COVID-19 Testing Requirements
Recently, the CDC issued an order requiring a negative COVID-19 test no more than three days before traveling for passengers on international flights to the United States, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.
This directive was a result of a CDC analysis that studied new variants of COVID-19, such as the contagious B.1.1.7 strain. The strain was previously reported in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, and has been reported in 33 U.S. states so far.
The Biden administration and the CDC are actively discussing whether to implement similar measures for domestic flights as it does for international flights, which require a negative COVID-19 test before traveling.
What This Means for Travelers
While the CDC urges the public to avoid travel, the agency offers resources outlining risks associated with different travel types and safety considerations for those who must do so. In combination with vaccination efforts, the CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 precautions including wearing a mask, hand-washing and social distancing.
Travelers should continue to monitor CDC guidance, and we will keep you updated on any noteworthy developments.
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