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Official Travel for Federal Employees who are Fully Vaccinated

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided guidance on travel for people who have received the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine. Pursuant to OMB Memorandum M-21-15, Federal employees should adhere strictly to CDC guidance for domestic and international travel 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 they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen).

This guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. This guidance also applies to COVID-19 vaccines that have been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g., AstraZeneca/Oxford).

Q: Are there restrictions on official travel for Federal employees who are fully vaccinated?

A: No. There are no government-wide limits on official travel for Federal employees who are fully vaccinated. Employees should follow their agency’s travel policy. Agencies may have collective bargaining obligations regarding implementation of any changes to official travel policies that have been in place for bargaining unit employees.

Q: Are there restrictions on official travel for Federal employees who are not fully vaccinated?

A: Yes. At this time, official domestic travel for Federal employees who are not fully vaccinated is limited to mission critical trips. For those employees, 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). Federal employees who are not fully vaccinated should take recommended precautions during mission-critical travel.

Q: Do Federal employees who are fully vaccinated need to get tested or self-quarantine for domestic travel?

A: Federal employees who are fully vaccinated 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 on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and while indoors in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations, and take other precautions during travel. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like an open-air ferry or top deck of a bus).

Q: Do Federal employees who are fully vaccinated need to get tested or self-quarantine for international travel?

A: Federal employees who are fully vaccinated 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.

However, all air passengers coming to the United States from abroad, including Federal employees who are fully vaccinated, 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 must show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 within the previous 90 days before they board a flight to the United States. Fully vaccinated travelers should also get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel, self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, if symptoms develop isolate and get tested, and follow all recommendations or requirements of their U.S. destination after travel.

Q: While traveling, what health and safety guidelines must federal employees who are fully vaccinated follow?

A: All travelers, including Federal employees who are fully vaccinated, should continue to take health and safety precautions. All travelers are required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth on all planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and indoor train stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like a ferry deck, outdoor train station, or an unenclosed top deck of a bus).

Q: While traveling, what health and safety guidelines must Federal employees who are not fully vaccinated follow?

A: Federal employees who are not fully vaccinated must follow all applicable CDC guidance for unvaccinated travelers while traveling.