The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has updated its travel guidelines, advising that there is low risk for fully vaccinated individuals to travel domestically.  The CDC further provides that for fully vaccinated individuals COVID-19 testing or a quarantine period is unnecessary following travel.

When traveling internationally, the CDC states that testing is unnecessary unless required by the country being visited or upon return to the United States.  However, individuals should still be tested prior to a return flight to the U.S.  Importantly, the CDC continues to recommend against travel that is non-essential and states that fully vaccinated people should still wear a mask, stay six feet from other individuals, avoid crowds, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer often.  CDC Director Rochelle Walensky also stated that “[w]hile we believe that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, CDC is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases.”

The CDC published the following quick reference chart:

According to Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi and co-head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, COVID-19 vaccines will reach over 100 countries in the coming weeks.  To date, there have been vaccines delivered to 84 countries.  There have been over 61 million Americans vaccinated at the time of this blog post.  On Saturday, the U.S. had a record 4 million vaccine doses administered and is averaging over 3 million daily doses.

The continued progress to vaccinate the world against COVID-19 comes against the backdrop of a new “double mutant” variant, identified by India’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in March.  The name is based on the fact that there are two new mutations in the variant. Stanford has confirmed a case of the double mutant variation in the San Francisco area.  Dr. Dean Winslow of Stanford University stated that “[t]here is no definite evidence that this double variant is more virulent or causes more severe disease.”

Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers will continue to provide relevant updates on the COVID-19 PHE on the Health Law Pulse.