Following is newly released interpretation by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force of how CDC guidance on travel for persons who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 applies to official travel by federal employees.
Federal employees should adhere strictly to CDC guidelines before, during, and after travel, regardless of whether the travel is personal or for official business. These FAQs address how this CDC guidance applies to Federal employee travel for official business.
Q: Who is considered fully vaccinated?
A: People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series of a vaccine with an FDA emergency use authorization (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine with an FDA emergency use authorization (e.g., Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen).
Q: Are there restrictions on official travel for fully vaccinated Federal employees?
A: Yes. At this time, official domestic travel for all Federal employees, regardless of vaccination status, is limited to mission critical trips. International travel should also be avoided if at all possible, unless it is mission critical (e.g., military deployments, COVID-19 response deployments/activities, diplomats traveling, high-level international negotiations that cannot occur remotely).
Q: Does the referenced CDC guidance apply to fully vaccinated Federal employees?
A: Yes, the CDC guidance provides health information to the public, including Federal employees, with regard to their travel, but does not supersede government-wide or agency-specific restrictions on official travel unless otherwise noted in this guidance or in agency guidance.
Q: Do fully vaccinated Federal employees need to get tested or self-quarantine for domestic travel?
A: Fully vaccinated Federal employees do not need to get tested before or after domestic travel or self-quarantine after domestic travel, unless required by their destination. However, vaccinated individuals should self-monitor for symptoms, wear a mask over nose and mouth, and take other precautions during travel.
Q: Do fully vaccinated Federal employees need to get tested or self-quarantine for international travel?
A: Fully vaccinated Federal employees do not need to get tested before leaving the United States (unless required by their destination) or self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
Fully vaccinated air travelers coming to the United States from abroad, including federal employees, are required to have a negative SARS-CoV-2 viral test result no more than three days before the flight to the United States departs or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. Fully vaccinated travelers should also follow all recommendations or requirements of their destination after travel.
Q: While traveling, what health and safety guidelines must federal employees who are fully vaccinated follow?
A: All travelers, including fully vaccinated Federal employees, should continue to take health and safety precautions. CDC COVID-19 prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers, including those who are vaccinated. All travelers are required to wear a mask over nose and mouth on all planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
Q: Besides wearing a mask and self-monitoring for symptoms, what are other precautions that fully vaccinated persons should take when traveling?
A: In addition to wearing a mask over nose and mouth, fully vaccinated people should avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with them, and wash hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).