LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — New guidance from the CDC says fully vaccinated people can safely travel again within the U.S., but should still wear a mask and social distance.
Previously, the agency warned against any unnecessary travel — and they still advise people who are not vaccinated to avoid travel.
“I pray that this is the answer and that everything will be open,” said visitor Charles Mussa. “It’s time for people to see people again. It gave me a warm feeling. A warm fuzzy feeling.”
The update comes as more people get vaccinated, and evidence supports that fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19.
This is major news for the travel industry, and cities like Las Vegas that have been hard-hit by the pandemic.
“We continue to follow the guidance by CDC and our local health experts at the Southern Nevada Health District,” said Lori Nelson-Kraft, senior vice president of communications at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
“We appreciate the updated travel guidance by the CDC for individuals fully vaccinated,” she said. “We remain committed to reducing the spread of the virus and ensuring that travel to and in and around Las Vegas remains a safe experience for our visitors and for our hospitality workforce.”
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose.
The new CDC guidance says domestic travelers who are fully vaccinated no longer need to get tested unless it’s required by their destination.
“I think this is a sign that good old American ingenuity is doing its job,” said Kent Wilson, who is visiting Las Vegas.
Another visitor, Tina Porras, said, “Right now, this is the most people I’ve seen in a long time in one place. You know? You still gotta be careful.”
But while some people feel safer, others say the vaccine won’t change their plans.
“Oh, I don’t care,” said Cam Nunley, visiting from Kansas.”It is what it is.”
Vaccine or not, some say they will still travel.
“I don’t really care if people are vaccinated or not,” said Chase Jolley, visiting from Michigan. “It kind of varies between opinion.
Ben Yates, visiting from Chicago, feels safer.
“Of course it is encouraging to see more people are, of course the first responders, the teachers, the people that need it the most,” he said. “And I understand, hopefully, the hospitality workers soon in Vegas, but yeah, it’s certainly encouraging.”
Vaccinated travelers also don’t need to self-quarantine.
Data suggests vaccinated individuals don’t transmit the virus.
The U.S. Travel Association issued a written statement almost immediately, calling this a major step in the right direction.
It added, in part, “The year-long halt on travel has devastated U.S. employment, with travel-supported jobs accounting for 65% of all U.S. jobs lost last year, and this is an opportunity to begin reclaiming a lot of what’s been lost.”
Abby Lagman from Blissful Travel expects travel to pick up, as more shots are administered and destinations offer deals.
“I think we are moving towards the right direction,” she said. “…The occupancy levels are low, and they are offering lower rates to attract people to come because of that.”
She is still waiting for international travel guidelines.
The vaccine is influencing some people’s plans.
“I feel fine. I wear my mask the whole time,” said Samantha Brodeen, visiting from South Dakota.
Her family lives in Vegas and waited to have her visit until they had the vaccine.
If you don’t have your shots, the CDC is advising you to avoid unnecessary travel.