CDC recommends that the fully vaccinated can travel with low risk
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Hawaiian Airlines says that it was pleased with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) determination that fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically without testing or needing to quarantine.
“We are hopeful the state of Hawai‘i will update the Safe Travels program to align with these recommendations,” Hawaiian spokesman Alex Da Silva said in the airline’s statement.
“The CDC’s guidance underscores the effectiveness of vaccinations, as well as the comprehensive health and safety protocols adopted by the airline industry,” he said. “While we must all continue to take personal responsibility to protect ourselves and each other, it’s time to restore freedom of travel to allow families and friends to reconnect and generate crucial economic activity.”
As of Tuesday, the Safe Travels Program — in which travelers to Hawaii can skip quarantine if testing negative 72-hours before their flight — has not changed. (Samoa News notes that there’s a lot of interest in these developments for American Samoans living on the US mainland, planning to head to Hawaii, especially those selected for American Samoa’s repatriation flights.)
On Apr. 2nd, CDC announced in a national statement that it updated its travel guidance for fully vaccinated people to reflect the latest evidence and science.
“Given recent studies evaluating the real-world effects of vaccination, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves,” the federal agency said. “A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of vaccine.”
According to CDC, fully vaccinated people can travel within the United States and COVID-19 testing or post-travel self-quarantine is not required — as long as they continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling — wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, social distancing, and washing hands frequently.
CDC also says that guidance issued today does not change the agency’s existing guidance for people who are not fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated travelers should still get tested 1- 3 days before domestic travel and again 3- 5 days after travel. They should stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel or 10 days if they don’t get tested at the conclusion of travel.
[Details are on website - www.cdc.gov — along with all new updates]
Meanwhile, flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago remain suspended through the end of this month, according to Hawaiian’s flight schedule update bulletin, posted to its website as of yesterday.
The schedule for international flights does show that American Samoa flights return to two per week service in May, but an ASG official told Samoa News yesterday that this may change soon, with a decision to be made by the governor, who will then inform the airline.
Flights have been suspended since Mar. 23, 2020 although American Samoa started the first repatriation flight from Honolulu in January this year. The next repatriation flight is set for Apr. 15th.