Travel related stocks rejoiced on Monday in their first trading session since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for domestic travel for fully vaccinated people. The new recommendations lifted certain testing and self-quarantine requirements, making it easier for people to travel without the need of seeing a healthcare professional.
Both major U.S. airlines and cruise lines gained on Monday, with the hard-hit industry seeing a well deserved boosted after a year of declines and restrictions.
The CDC updated its website guidelines for domestic travel during COVID-19 on Friday, with the federal health agency apt to update its recommendations frequently to reflect the latest scientific evidence and consensus. Moving forward, the CDC writes that "people who are fully vaccinated with a [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] authorized vaccine can travel safely within the United States."
The CDC considers someone to be fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive the last dose of their vaccination regime. For the FDA authorized vaccines, that would mean two weeks after their second dose of either the Pfizer
For these fully vaccinated individuals, the CDC states that they will no longer need to be tested before or after travel unless required to by state or local authorities, and they do not need to self-quarantine upon their return. The agency still recommends other public health measures such as mask wearing (which is required in all U.S. public transportation hubs under President Joe Biden's federal mandate), social distancing and frequent hand washing.
Despite the change in guidance, the CDC still advises against all nonessential travel for the time being as U.S. daily infection and hospitalization rates continue to increase from their recent plateau. The CDC is expected to review this recommendation as vaccination rates continue to accelerate in the U.S.
Currently, more than 62 million Americans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to CDC data, which is 18.8% of the U.S. population. A total of over 107 million Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
For those who are not vaccinated, the CDC recommends that the traveler has a negative COVID-19 testing 1-3 days prior to their trip and that they most either get tested 3-5 days after their return and self-quarantine for 7 days, or for 10 days if they did not get tested.
Following the updated guidance, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
"We believe that through a combination of 100% mandatory vaccinations for guests and crew and science-backed public health measures as developed by the Healthy Sail Panel, led by former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt and former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration Dr. Scott Gottlieb, we can create a safe, 'bubble-like' environment for guests and crew. We look forward to joining the rest of the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors in participating in this next phase of our recovery," said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise, in a statement.