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CDC: Fully Vaccinated People Can Skip Mandatory Quarantines After Being Exposed

Those Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to skip quarantines if they are exposed to someone infected with the virus, according to a new update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Fully vaccinated persons who meet criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with COVID-19,” the CDC wrote in a new update on its website.

The update means that as long as a person meets the criteria, exposure to someone with COVID-19 won’t force them into a mandatory two-week quarantine. The criteria, all of which has to be met, is as follows:

  • The person has both doses of the two-dose vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna are both two doses) or one dose of the one-dose options (Johnson and Johnson’s is expected to come into market as a one-dose vaccine).
  • He or she has waited at least two weeks for full incubation.
  • He or she is within the three month window that the vaccines are proven to be most effective.

Still, the news doesn’t mean that vaccinated people are yet allowed to skip testing requirements or protocols when traveling into the U.S.—the CDC’s guidance, which says that “all air passengers traveling to the U.S., regardless of vaccination or antibody status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery,” is still in place.

It’s also not clear how the change in guidance would impact the rumored testing requirements for domestic flights, a move that has already drawn the ire of those in the airline industry including Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, who wrote a letter to the White House coming out against the move, and Delta CEO Ed Bastian, who did the same on CNN this week.

“It’s hard to get tests, there are days of delay still. I think it would be a logistical nightmare. It would set [the travel and hospitality sector] back at least another year,” Bastian said.

“It will not keep domestic flyers safer, if anything it’s going to keep flyers away from what they need to do, in terms of starting to get back out in terms of essential travel and start reclaiming their lives. Taking resources away from those truly in need, I think would be a terrible decision,” Bastian added.

The news however does show how the CDC is changing guidance as more and more Americans become vaccinated against COVID-19. At last count, according to Bloomberg’s vaccination tracker, the U.S. has been administering, on average, 1.54 million doses per day, with almost 45 million doses already been given.

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