PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the Easter holiday weekend begins, the CDC on Friday issued new guidelines on travel. Federal health officials say it is safe for vaccinated Americans to travel as long as they take precautions.
There was a bit of a confusing mixed message from the CDC as it’s still not recommending people travel, but this guidance out Friday says it’s safe for people who are fully vaccinated.READ MORE: Fall Full-Capacity Concerts, Xfinity Live! Preparing To Reopen Has Philadelphia's Stadium District Buzzing With Energy
It was a busy travel day at Philadelphia International Airport.
“We’re headed to Nashville for a wedding,” Lisa Dombrowski of Philadelphia said.
Millions of Americans are expected to travel over the Easter holiday weekend.
“We all have our masks and we’ll wash our hands and stay 6 feet away from everybody,” Brendan Feighery of Philadelphia said.
Updated guidance from the CDC says it’s safe for fully vaccinated people to travel, but because COVID cases are rising locally and around the country, the agency says it’s better not to.
“I would advocate against general travel overall,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “Our guidance is silent on recommending or not recommending fully vaccinated people travel. Our guidance speaks to the safety of doing that.”READ MORE: Tolls Increasing Sunday On 8 Delaware River Crossings Connecting Pennsylvania, New Jersey
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the final dose.
The CDC now says there’s no need for them to be tested before international travel unless it’s required by the destination, and they don’t have to quarantine after returning to the U.S.
“Changing science is complex,” Walensky said. “On the one hand, we are telling you we are worried about rising cases, to wear a mask and to avoid travel. Yet, on the other hand, we are saying that if you are vaccinated, evolving data suggests that traveling is likely lower risk.”
The new CDC travel guidance says fully vaccinated people still need a negative test before an international flight back into the U.S. and they should get a COVID-19 test three to five days after returning.
“It’s getting back to normal. Slowly, but surely,” Josh Barrow of Philadelphia said.
But only 20% of the country is fully vaccinated, so precautions are still advised, and the guidance has not changed for unvaccinated people. They should be tested before and after travel and quarantine when necessary.MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate Race Raises Simmering Divisions Inside Party
This travel update from the CDC comes with the latest science that says people who are fully vaccinated are less likely to get and spread COVID-19.