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Just as people began to resume travel, the super-contagious omicron variant has caused a surge in COVID-19 cases.
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As a result, travelers face renewed restrictions and a doubling down on precautions to reduce the risk of infection.
But while vacation planning was more or less put on hold in the early days of the pandemic, COVID fatigue and a greater sense of security among the vaccinated have made many Americans determined to return to activities that bring meaning and pleasure to their lives. “As we enter year three, people don’t want to miss out on the things that are so important in life, and one of those things is travel,” says Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights email subscription service. “People want to have something to look forward to again.”
These days, though, your COVID-19 vaccination status will affect where you can go in the world — and what's safe to do. Keyes and other experts answer some key questions about vaccines and travel.
Do you need to be vaccinated to travel within the U.S.?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends delaying travel until you’re fully vaccinated (two weeks after receiving the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines) to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 and spreading it. Consult your doctor before travel if you have a serious health issue or a weak immune system. (You also shouldn’t travel if you feel sick, tested positive for COVID, are awaiting COVID-19 test results or have been exposed to someone with the virus.)
Hawaii is currently the only state that requires visitors to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test to avoid mandatory quarantine. Travelers must create an online account to enter trip information and upload vaccination or testing data.