Can I Go on Vacation This Summer?

You may be wondering if it is safe to go on vacation this summer. The answer is that it depends on your vaccination status and type of vacation. In general, travel increases the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. However, you can still enjoy some types of vacations if you take steps to stay safe.

Travel is not recommended if:

  1. You are sick or have a positive COVID-19 test or are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test. Wait until you have completed your isolation period and symptoms have resolved.
  2. You have had a recent COVID-19 exposure. Wait until your quarantine period is over.
  3. You or a family member have a preexisting health condition that increases your risk.  Wait until you and the family member with the health condition are fully vaccinated.
  4. You are vaccinated but you have a weakened immune system.  Talk to your physician to determine if it is safe to travel.

What precautions should everyone take for traveling?

Everyone should continue to wear a mask, avoid crowds and large gatherings, distance from those not traveling with you, and wash your hands often.

Travel recommendations for people who are fully vaccinated (or documented COVID within 3 months of travel)

The CDC says that people who are fully vaccinated (2 weeks after the last dose) or who have had documented COVID within the last 3 months can travel within the US as long as they follow precautions.

After travel in the US, you should self-monitor for symptoms, but you do not need to get tested or self-quarantine (unless required to do so by health authorities at your travel destination).

If you are thinking about traveling outside of the US, you should check travel guidance and requirements for testing and quarantine for your airline or destination. You should also be aware of requirements for testing or quarantine when you return to the US. It is recommended that you get a test 3-5 days after returning from international travel.

Travel recommendations for people who are unvaccinated

Currently, the CDC recommends that you delay travel particularly outside of the US if you are unvaccinated.. If you do travel, get a test 1-3 days before leaving, get tested 3-5 days after traveling, and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after returning home (or 10 days if you do not get tested).

You should also avoid being around people who are high risk for 14 days after you return from travel. 

What if a family is traveling with unvaccinated children or family members?

If you are traveling with unvaccinated children or other unvaccinated family members, then you should follow the guidance for unvaccinated travel to reduce the risk for those members of your family.

The following tips can also help reduce COVID risk while traveling:

  • Travel by car has less risk of contact with others than travel by air.
  • Consider trips where you can avoid large groups and spend time outside like beaches or camping.
  • If you are flying, you should check if there are any testing or vaccination requirements and take steps to reduce your risk.  
  • Consider ways to reduce risk while staying in hotels.  

So feel free to plan some summer fun while still taking precautions to reduce the risk of getting or spreading COVID.

Last update: April 9, 2021, 9:10 EST

Science review: JAB