The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its quarantine guidance for travelers, removing direct advice to stay home for 14 days after returning from international travel or areas with a high levels of coronavirus cases.
“This updated guidance is based on risk of exposure during travel, asking travelers to think about what they did, where they were, and who they came into contact with to evaluate their risk of exposure to Covid-19,” Jasmine Reed, a CDC spokesperson, told CNN.
“Travelers who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 before or during their trip should postpone travel until 14 days after their last exposure," Reed added.
The agency’s updated guidance for after travel reminds people they may have been exposed to Covid-19 while traveling domestically or internationally, and that they can be contagious even if they aren’t experiencing symptoms.
“You and your travel companions (including children) pose a risk to your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus,” the CDC says on its After You Travel page, recommending that people follow state, territorial, tribal and local recommendations or requirements after travel.
Some of these require a quarantine period. People returning from travel should also follow the usual coronavirus safety guidelines, such as wearing a mask and washing hands and keeping 6 feet away from others.
And if a person participated in a higher risk activity – traveling to certain countries, attending a mass gathering or taking a cruise, among them – the CDC recommends extra precautions: “stay home as much as possible” for 14 days; avoid people at high risk for severe illness from Covid-19; consider getting a Covid-19 test.
The CDC also updated its travel notices to include recommendations by destination, labelling which areas are at higher and lower risk.