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Today, the CDC updated its domestic travel guidance to say that fully vaccinated people can travel safely—but that doesn’t mean the agency is recommending it.
Why is that? We called up Katherine, a staff writer who is covering the vaccine rollout, to find out.
The conversation that follows has been edited and condensed.
Caroline Mimbs Nyce: Could you briefly recap what happened today?
Katie: This is a change in guidance that people have really been waiting for. Basically, the CDC updated its guidance for people who are fully vaccinated. They officially can now travel within the U.S., without testing, and skip quarantine, and that is considered to be low risk. To be super clear here, the CDC is not saying please travel. It’s saying that it’s safer to do so if you’ve gotten your shots.
Caroline: A lot of people were confused! Why is that? If it’s low risk to travel, why should vaccinated people continue to stay put?
Katie: This is the tricky thing. The CDC is officially acknowledging that it is lower risk to do so. They’re saying, “Here is another thing that you can do with a little more assurance that you’re doing it more safely than people who are not vaccinated.” That’s not the same as, “Everyone hop on a plane right now to jump-start the economy.” I don’t think that’s the goal here.