WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released a highly anticipated update to travel guidance for people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, eliminating some testing and quarantine recommendations.

The CDC says that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves.

The agency said that as long as coronavirus precautions are taken, including mask wearing, fully vaccinated people can travel within the United States without getting tested for Covid-19 before or self-quarantining after.

For international travel, fully vaccinated people don't need a Covid-19 test prior to travel -- unless it is required by the destination -- and do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States. They should still have a negative Covid-19 test before boarding a flight to the US, and a follow up test three to five days after their return, the CDC noted.

Running a travel business had its challenges through this pandemic.

Just ask Susan Green with Susan's Travel Services. For the last year, she hustled to make vacations possible for customers as travel restrictions constantly changed.

"It has been really difficult," said Green. "Obviously, we have lost a lot of sales... Now I'm learning how to make people not unhappy and how to make sure when they get there they're not stuck there and stuff like that."

At Sky Harbor Friday, travelers had mixed thoughts on the new guidelines.

"I guess I'm not surprised," said Michelle McDowdell. "It's the next step in the phase of everything. It probably won't change our plans of what we've scheduled."

"I just hope we're not opening too soon," said Steve Freskos.

"I think it's a good idea," said Britni Evans. "I think people are just going to come to a point where they don't have that choice. They're going to have to."

Green thinks the change will help business.

"We can give you some confidence going in, and it's kind of exciting, and I really hope things continue to change in a positive direction," said Green.

The CDC considers someone fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The updated guidance does not apply to unvaccinated people. The CDC advises anyone who hasn't been fully vaccinated to continue to avoid travel.

Unvaccinated people who must travel should get tested one to three days before travel and again three to five days after travel. They should self-quarantine at home for seven days after travel, or 10 days, if they do not get tested post-travel.

The CDC said all Americans, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask and practice public health measures when traveling, such as physical distancing and washing hands frequently.

Should I travel? Expert advice on what to consider

Many Americans are ready to travel, with pandemic-era record numbers of passengers this month at US airports.

Last month, the CDC released its first iteration of guidance for fully vaccinated Americans, in which the agency said they should avoid travel. Some critics at the time said the CDC's stance on travel for fully vaccinated people was too rigid.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky defended the agency's initial travel guidance last month, explaining that changes to guidance would be ongoing as more people are vaccinated in the US and that scientific data would inform any recommendations.

"We are very worried about transmissible variants. A lot of them have come through our travel corridors, so we're being extra cautious right now with travel," Walensky told CNN's Anderson Cooper in March. She noted that every time travel picks up, a surge in coronavirus cases follows, citing Independence Day, Labor Day and the holiday season.

Experts say that the US appears to be entering into another fresh surge this spring, which is partially due to more travel. The US averaged 63,974 daily cases over the last 7-days, up 11% since last week.

Locations

Recommended for you