Delta Air Lines and United Airlines celebrated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance Friday, which states that fully vaccinated people can “travel safely within the United States.”
The April 2 guidance said fully vaccinated individuals are “less likely to get and spread COVID-19” and specified that such individuals can “travel safely within the United States” and do not need to undergo a coronavirus test before or after travel unless their destination requires testing. The CDC also said vaccinated travelers no longer need to self-quarantine, although the agency still advised vaccinated people to wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
“More customers than ever during the pandemic are showing us they’re ready to get back out and reconnect with the world—and we’re ready to help them reclaim their lives safely,” a Delta spokeswoman told the Hill Friday.
A spokesperson for United told the outlet the updated guidance “reinforces the importance of vaccinations and is a positive step in the right direction to safely resuming global travel.”
According to the Hill, United will eventually allow customers to “upload and store their vaccination records on a digital travel platform on the United website and the United app.”
Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International, also celebrated the decision. The union represents tens of thousands of flight attendants.
“We need to make sure Flight Attendants and other transportation workers have priority access to the vaccine,” she said in a statement. “We must work to vaccinate the rest of the world too. We know what to do to end the pandemic and CDC’s announcement puts a fine point on that.”
“If we are diligent with masks and vaccinations we can all be safe and gain the freedom of flight. Get vaxxed, wear a mask, and come fly with us!” she exclaimed.
The CDC continues to advise nonvaccinated people to avoid travel if they can help it and provides a list of suggested protocols to follow in the event travel becomes unavoidable. The agency recommends unvaccinated people get tested one to three days prior to a trip and three to five days after travel. It also advises travelers to quarantine for seven days even if they tested negative for the coronavirus. The CDC recommends unvaccinated people who do not get tested after traveling quarantine for ten days.
Travel is on the rise again, coming close to pre-pandemic levels, with more than a million people consistently making their way through U.S. airport checkpoints during the last two weeks.