CDC Issues Updated Guidance on Travel for Fully Vaccinated People (April 2021)
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of vaccine.
Fully vaccinated people can travel within the United States and do not need COVID-19 testing or post-travel self-quarantine as long as they continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling – wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, socially distancing, and washing hands frequently.
Because of the potential introduction and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, differences in disease burden and vaccines, and vaccine coverage around the world, CDC is providing the following guidance related to international travel:
- Fully vaccinated people can travel internationally without getting a COVID-19 test before travel unless it is required by the international destination.
- Fully vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.
- Fully vaccinated people must still have a negative COVID-19 test result before they board a flight to the United States and get a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days after returning from international travel.
- Fully vaccinated people should continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling internationally.
The 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. CDC discourages non-essential domestic travel by those who are not fully vaccinated.
Updates to CDC travel guidance for vaccinated people can be found here:
Due to the large number of Americans who remain unvaccinated and the current state of the pandemic, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands frequently and avoiding crowds when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19.
MEM COVID-19 Passenger Survey
In an effort to gain more insight on passenger opinions and expectations on traveling during the pandemic, MEM has created a survey at https://bit.ly/memcovidsurvey2020.
Federal Mask Mandate in Place
Beginning February 2, 2021, federal law requires you to wear a mask at all times when traveling. Masks must completely cover the nose and mouth of the wearer. The use of face shields alone is not sufficient, but can be used in addition to a face mask.
The face mask requirement applies at all times unless:
- It’s necessary to temporarily remove for ID verification
- Eating, drinking, or taking oral medications for brief periods
- The traveler is under 2 years old
Passengers without a mask may be denied entry, boarding, or continued transport. Failure to comply with the mask requirement can result in civil penalties. More at bit.ly/39AxCzr.
Attn International Travelers:
For international travelers returning to the U.S., of January 12, 2021, the CDC is requiring for pre-departure testing of all passengers on flights to the United States. In accordance with the CDC Order, airlines must verify that each passenger over the age of 2 provides a negative COVID-19 test result, conducted within 3 calendar days prior to departure, and an attestation that they received a negative test result or have recovered from COVID-19.
Local COVID-19 test for travelers available
Poplar Healthcare offers COVID-19 PCR testing – a type of COVID-19 test often required by airlines or your travel destination. The cost is $100 per test, and is available Monday through Saturday from 8am—6pm. Visit www.phc-covid.com/drive-thru-memphis-covid-19-testing for more information.
Masks/facial coverings at MEM
- Masks are now required in public buildings per the City of Memphis Face Covering Ordinance 5751.
- Most airlines are requiring masks/facial coverings for all boarding passengers.
- Complimentary masks are available at the ticketing counters, and additional masks are available for sale at retail shops.
- Ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft now require both drivers & passengers to wear face masks during trips.
- For more details, see these links:
Distancing at MEM
- Floor markings are in place which illustrate the recommended 6′ distancing between passengers.
- Airlines are determining their own policies for changes during flights.
- Businesses and airlines are installing Plexiglas at counters as an extra measure of protection.
- TSA has implemented new procedures to increase social distancing, reduce contact between employees and passengers, and increase cleaning and sanitation at the checkpoint. More information: www.tsa.gov/coronavirus.
- All screening continues to be performed at the B Checkpoint. The C Checkpoint is currently closed.
- As a temporary exemption from its “3-1-1” rule (no liquids in excess of 3.4 oz. in carry-on bags), TSA is allowing one oversized liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags.
- In order to expedite security screening time, passengers should review the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) list of prohibited items.
- Firearms in carry-on bags are prohibited by federal law. Check your bags before you arrive at the airport.
- Food items should be removed from carry-on bags and placed in bins for screening. (Does not apply to TSA PreCheck® members.)
Increased cleaning and sanitation efforts
- MEM continues to maintain enhanced cleaning and sanitation of high contact areas, including the gate areas and the security checkpoint.
- Airport restaurant and retail vendors have taken additional cleaning and sanitation steps as well.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers can be found throughout both the A and C concourses.
See the links below for our airline partners’ COVID-19 updates:
Each airline has implemented different procedures in response to COVID-19, such as plexiglass shields at ticketing counters, seating adjustments, and mask requirements for boarding aircraft. Check with your airline for more information. Airline contact information and COVID-19 updates can be found on the Airlines at MEM page. Check the flight status page.
Shelby County Health Department and CDC Resources
MEM continues to monitor the ongoing developments with COVID-19 (coronavirus). The airport continues to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and the Shelby County Health Department. Passengers can get more information about prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html. The CDC also has additional information for travelers at https://www.cdc.gov/travel. In addition, some states require quarantines and COVID testing. The CDC has a web page that allows passenger to enter their destination and review the requirements at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-planner/index.html.
Air Service Update
Airline schedules continue to change frequently, and passengers are encouraged to check with their airlines for the latest developments.
- Allegiant: Austin, Destin-Ft. Walton, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Orlando-Sanford, Punta Gorda, and St. Pete-Clearwater
- American Airlines: Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Phoenix, Washington D.C.
- Delta Air Lines: Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City
- Frontier: Denver, Orlando
- Southwest Airlines: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa
- United: Chicago, Denver, Houston
Retail/Restaurant Latest Hours
Due to the significant decrease in passenger traffic, HMS Host (food/beverage), Paradies (retail stores) and Delta Air Lines (SkyClub) have made a number of operational adjustments. Current hours of operation are listed below, but are subject to change depending on traffic.:
Home Team Sports – C Concourse
- Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 6am – 12:30pm
- Sunday, Thursday and Friday 6am-430pm
Starbucks – A/B Connector
- Sunday, Monday, Wednesday-Friday – 4:30am – 4:30pm
- Saturday and Tuesday – 4:30am – 12:30pm
Torn Basil – A Concourse
- Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday – 11am – 4:30pm
Blue Moon Bar – C Concourse
- Monday and Friday – 4:30pm – 8pm
Lenny’s Grill & Subs – A Concourse
- Monday – Sunday 5am-12pm
Runway 901 Bar & Grill – A Concourse
- Monday – Sunday 12pm – 4pm
- Closed Saturday
Interstate BBQ – C Concourse
- Open 9:30am – 5:00pm.
- Open 5am – 5pm daily
- Open 5am – 5pm daily
- Open 7am – 2pm daily
Rental Car Offices
- Some of our rental car partners have adjusted office hours based on the reduced demand. A full list can be found under Ground Transportation.