CDC: Fully vaccinated travelers don’t need to test before flight

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ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Doctors at Emory University say, if you want to travel, only do so if you are vaccinated, especially with a rise in COVID-19 variants.

They’re following the CDC’s advice after the new travel guidelines, which could mean more people on your next flight as airlines open up middle seats for summer travel.

The CDC says if you are fully vaccinated, you don’t need to test or self-quarantine before a domestic trip.

Dr. Henry Wu, travel medicine specialist and director of Emory Travel Well Center said, “Whether you are vaccinated or not, it is still good to consider your reasons for travel and see if there’s a safer option to meet those needs.”

Dr. Kathleen Toomey said, “Here is in our state[Georgia], the UK variant is about 20-22-% of all of our cases. It spreads quickly but you are protected if you have the vaccination.”

But if you are looking to travel abroad, the CDC says you should get tested 3 to 5 days after you return, but you don’t have to get tested before you leave unless your destination requires it.

Travel is a little riskier than it was pre-pandemic but with masking and vaccinations, it’s much safer.

Doctors say cruises may still be risky – and recommend road trips or flying as the safest ways to travel.

Dr. Henry Wu said, “That the aircraft itself is quite a safe environment with the air exchanges and filtration. Too much attention is put on the aircraft when really travelers should think about the entire journey”

The CDC recommends delaying any travel until you are fully vaccinated because travel can increase the spread of COVID-19, especially in crowded areas like airports.

“Travel can introduce infections that were not common. Travel inherently has a risk of introducing infections,” said Dr. Wu.

Dr. Toomey said, “In this race, of vaccine vs. variant, we want vaccines to win.”

Doctors say even when you travel, you must still practice social distancing, wear your mask, and follow the hygiene protocols even if you are fully vaccinated.

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