The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is struggling to give consistent and clear messaging on what vaccinated people should and should not do.
On Friday, the CDC announced that vaccinated Americans could travel safely in the nation without having to quarantine or get tested for COVID-19.
However, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that while people can travel, they still should avoid doing so. “We are not recommending travel at this time,” Walensky said at Friday’s press briefing, pointing to the rising number of cases.
“That said we are at 64,000 new COVID cases today, and our numbers continue to increase… I still continue to worry that with 80% of the population unvaccinated, we still have a lot of work to do,” Walensky said.
The whiplash in CDC messaging quickly drew criticism in the press.
The CDC’s updated travel ordinance said that those fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus “are less likely to get and spread COVID-19.”
The message came the same week that Walensky warned of “impending doom” due to rising case numbers and hospitalizations.
The CDC’s new guidance comes as Americans gear up to travel around the country to celebrate Easter this weekend.
The struggle to give consistent messaging to citizens about what vaccinated people can do may confuse travelers as they board planes and other forms of transportation this year.
A person is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after they get their second round of Pfizer and Moderna shots, or two weeks after their Johnson & Johnson shot.
Those who haven’t received their second shots or haven’t been immunized for two weeks should especially avoid traveling, according to the CDC.