Fully vaccinated? You are cleared for official travel

Are you fully vaccinated? If so—and you’ve done the two-week waiting period for the vaccine to be effective—you are now cleared for official travel. 

The White House COVID Response Team, successor to the last administration’s White House Task Force, has just issued new guidance

“There are no government-wide limits on official travel for Federal employees who are fully vaccinated,” the new advisory FAQ states. 

However, at some posts and agencies, other restrictions may remain in place: “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,” the FAQ notes. 

And, if you have not had a complete COVID vaccination, restrictions remain in place. “[Official] domestic travel for federal employees who are not fully vaccinated is limited to mission critical trips,” the FAQ states. The international travel restriction is even tighter. For unvaccinated feds, all international travel is “to be avoided” unless it is mission-critical. 

The COVID Response Team advises all feds, even those who are fully vaccinated, to continue to follow CDC COVID safety guidance during many parts of your travel—which means continuing to wear a mask. 

“All travelers, including federal employees who are fully vaccinated, should continue to take health and safety precautions,” the FAQ states. “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.” 

Some good news: the CDC advises that travelers no longer need to wear masks “in outdoor areas of a conveyance,” such as the deck of a ferry, an outdoor train platform or the like.

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