The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Monday what many see as the next step towards achieving post-pandemic “normalcy”: It is safe for people who have been vaccinated gather indoors with other vaccinated people without wearing face masks.
The news comes just weeks before the start of spring break at schools in South Carolina. The arrival of the summer tourist season in places like Charleston and Myrtle Beach is also expected in just over two months. Governor Henry McMaster also on Friday relaxed state rules which required people to wear masks inside restaurants and state government buildings. The state too last week ended the “last call” rule who had banned alcohol sales after 11 p.m. in restaurants and bars.
The majority of South Carolina residents can now enroll in a coronavirus vaccine as part of Phase 1b of the state immunization plan. Almost 10% of people in South Carolina have been fully immunized against the coronavirus, and 17% of people in the state have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Does all of this mean that traveling is finally safe if you are vaccinated? Can you fly to France? Visiting friends and family in other cities?
On this side, nothing has changed yet. CDC did not update his travel recommendations, even in light of the increase in vaccinations. The agency still recommends postponing travel as much as possible due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in the country. People traveling to the United States from international destinations must always have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight.
The federal government also still requires masks on public transportation such as planes, buses and trains.
The CDC also specifically states that anyone with known exposure to COVID-19 should not travel, regardless of their vaccination status.
Here is the CDC’s latest set of recommendations for people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, published Monday morning:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distance
- Visit with unvaccinated people from the same household who are at low risk of severe COVID-19 illness indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Refrain from quarantine and testing after known exposure if asymptomatic
- Take precautions in public such as wearing a properly fitted mask and physical distancing
- Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and follow other preventive measures when visiting unvaccinated people who are within increased risk of severe COVID-19 sickness or have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness
- Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other preventive measures when visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid medium to large in-person gatherings
- Get tested if you meet Symptoms of covid19
- Follow guidelines issued by individual employers
- Track CDC and health service travel requirements and recommendations