The CDC will release new COVID air travel guidance for vaccinated Americans, officials say

The Biden administration has finalized new travel guidance for vaccinated Americans to deal with air travel and may issue it on Friday morning, two federal officials said. Told McClutch.

One official said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leaders are preparing to publish guidance “soon” and are deciding exactly when to issue the long-awaited recommendation Thursday evening. .. “They are very close,” officials said.

A second source said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Warrensky will outline the guidance at the White House Coronavirus Briefing on Friday morning.

The new guidance is not only due to the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 at home and abroad, but also due to increasing pressure to issue a new pandemic travel policy to the CDC as more Americans are vaccinated. is.

So far, the CDC has issued limited guidance on activities that Americans can safely resume after vaccination. In March, the health center said vaccinated people could safely meet indoors with other vaccinated people without a mask, but suggested keeping the rally small.

The White House has recently faced growing calls from airlines and groups in the travel industry to publish updated federal guidelines for vaccinated Americans who are eager to travel this summer. I am.

Senior officials such as the president’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said three weeks ago that new guidance for vaccinated individuals would be announced “immediately.” He said the recommendations deal with travel, work and place of worship.

Separately, as Europe is working to increase cases and stagnate vaccination campaigns, government officials have postponed high-level discussions on changes to travel restrictions for international visitors that have been in place for over a year. Did.

“Under the guidance of our public health experts, the government is reviewing all travel policies in the light of changes in epidemiology at home and abroad,” officials said earlier this week.

Coronavirus cases are skyrocketing across mainland Europe, and Walensky recently warned that the United States could be on the verge of a similar surge. The average daily number of cases of COVID-19 is increasing in more than 30 states.

“I know that travel is on the rise, and I’m worried that it will surge again in summer and winter,” Warensky said on Monday. “We have consistently discouraged travel, saying,’Limit it to essential travel,’” said the CDC director.

At the beginning of the Biden administration, officials Implemented a new policy All foreign travelers, including US citizens, must have a negative COVID-19 test before flying to the United States. We also recommend personal quarantine for 7 days upon arrival.

The travel industry, devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, has limited some of these guidelines to this summer after President Joe Biden promised that all American adults would qualify for the vaccine by May 1. I was hoping that it would be alleviated. United States by the end of May.

However, according to two government officials, the deregulation of foreign tourists, a major source of income for US tourism, is currently at a low level of government far from the decision-making stage.

Travel industry push

As more Americans are vaccinated, travel industry leaders pressure the Biden administration to ease international regulations before the summer season, which is critical to the needy travel and tourism business. I’m wearing it.

The American Travel Association, Airlines for America, Flight Attendants Association, All Nippon Travel Agents Association, American Hotel & Lodges Association, and more than 12 other aviation, travel, and tourism organizations have requested partnerships with the Byden administration. Make a plan by May 1st Withdraw pandemic restrictions on overseas travel.

In a letter to the White House, these associations stated that vaccinated individuals should be exempt from international testing requirements. The group also said the CDC updated its guidance that vaccinated individuals could travel safely by plane, and hopes that the U.S. government will begin negotiations with foreign governments to ease travel restrictions. ..

Sharon Pinkerton, Senior Vice President of Legislative Policy at Airlines for America, said: Not only for passengers, but also for passengers so that they can gain some understanding of what the basic rules of travel this summer will be. “

CDC is now Need negative Test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 for boarding a flight to the United States. In addition, international travelers are advised to quarantine for seven days after arriving in the United States. Proof of vaccination does not exempt travelers from meeting these criteria.

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