CDC holiday travel guidelines: Get tested before and after you travel

On Wednesday, the CDC released new guidelines around holiday travel including getting tested before and after traveling.

The new guidelines recommend using the CDC’s travel planner to check what COVID-19 restrictions are like at your destination. Enter your destination into the planner and find out about quarantine requirements and COVID testing for travelers.

The CDC urges people who are traveling or gathering to start isolating or limiting non-essential travel or activity for 14 days. If you are gathering or traveling on Christmas Day, that means you should start limiting your non-essential outings starting on December 11.

Under the new guidelines, the CDC recommends getting tested one to three days before traveling. They recommend taking a copy of your results with you in case you are asked to show them.

The CDC recommends getting tested one to five days after returning from travel. If you receive a negative test, they recommend still isolating at home for seven days to be safe. If you don’t get tested, they recommend isolating for ten days.

This week the CDC changed their recommendation for isolation after coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19 from 14 days to 10 days.

Officials write: “CDC and other scientists have explored changing the current recommendation to quarantine for 14 days after last exposure. Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing economic hardship if they cannot work during this time. In addition, a shorter quarantine period can lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising. CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. CDC will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed.”