Updated Travel Guidelines (4/9/21)
A Message from the COVID-19 Coordinator
Dear Members of the Yale Community,
As we deepen our understanding of the protection that vaccination affords, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has modified its guidance relating to activities for those individuals who are fully vaccinated. Earlier this year I shared the CDC’s revised quarantine guidance, which eliminated quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated, asymptomatic individuals who are close contacts of persons who have tested positive for COVID-19. In this message, I will provide you with information about recent changes in CDC guidance for fully-vaccinated individuals who travel and the related changes in Yale’s travel policy.
If I’m fully vaccinated, what do I need to know about travel?
Last week, the CDC updated its guidance for those who wish to travel and who are fully vaccinated, i.e., at least two weeks from either a one-dose vaccine or the second shot of a two-dose vaccine. Under new CDC guidance, fully vaccinated travelers:
- No longer need to have a COVID-19 test following domestic travel (unless required by destination).
- Must have a negative COVID-19 test no more than 3 days before boarding a flight to the United States if they have traveled internationally and should test again 3 to 5 days after return to the United States from international travel.
- No longer need to quarantine following domestic or international travel.
- Should continue to self-monitor for symptoms, wear masks, avoid crowds and practice physical distancing, and wash their hands frequently during and after travel.
- Should be aware of all airline and destination-specific testing and quarantine requirements, which may differ from CDC guidance.
The university has modified its requirements for returning travelers to reflect the new CDC guidance. More specifically, faculty, staff, and student travelers who plan to be on the Yale campus and who are fully vaccinated no longer need to test or quarantine following domestic travel. International travelers who are fully vaccinated must have a negative COVID-19 test no more than 3 days before boarding a flight to the United States and another negative COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days after return to the United States and before coming to campus.
Additionally, the university will now allow fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students to engage in university-sponsored travel subject to meeting approval requirements under existing university policies, as well as COVID-19 related notification and approval requirements described in the travel guidelines.
The university’s travel requirements remain unchanged for those who are not fully vaccinated:
- Anyone who has traveled outside of Connecticut in any state or country and who intends or is required to be on campus within 14 days of their arrival in Connecticut must either:
- Quarantine for 10 days OR
- Obtain a test on their first full day in Connecticut (day #1) and a second test no sooner than four days later (day #5) and quarantine in their residence until negative results are received for both tests. Individuals may leave this travel quarantine for their required tests and then return promptly to quarantine. If both tests are negative, the individual may access campus; and, if the individual is not participating in the university’s mandatory testing program, they are strongly encouraged to participate in voluntary testing for at least one more week.
- Healthcare workers, including health professional students, should consult their practice locations regarding travel-related testing and quarantine requirements which may differ from those of the university.
- Individuals traveling to campus for medical care or who will be on campus for less than 24 hours are exempted from these requirements.
- Anyone who has traveled outside of Connecticut and who does not intend to be on campus should follow testing and quarantine measures included in the state’s travel guidance.
How do I confirm my vaccination status?
Now that CDC guidance and some university policies refer to vaccination status, it is important to make sure that you have a clear and accessible record of your vaccination history. Two steps may be helpful in this regard:
- Take a photo of your vaccine card so that you have a copy readily available. However, do not share the photo on social media because it contains sensitive personal information that could be misused.
- When you have been fully vaccinated, submit your U.S. or international vaccination record to the university. If you received your vaccination through the Yale COVID-19 Vaccine Program, a record of your vaccination is already on file and you do not need to submit further documentation. However, if you received your vaccination through another program or site, including Yale New Haven Health sites at the Lanman Center and Yale’s West Campus, your vaccination information is not on file with the university unless you submit it. The choice to make this submission is yours; however, by doing so, you will ensure that your vaccination status is on record with the university and that the information will be added to your Yale Health electronic health record.
I am eager to be fully vaccinated. Remind me how to make an appointment for a vaccination.
While all Connecticut residents—including Connecticut university students—who are 16 years of age or older are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, I know that many of you are still trying to find a vaccination appointment. Although vaccine supplies at the Yale Program are still limited, the state’s supplies are steadily increasing, and new Connecticut vaccination sites open nearly every day. I encourage you to check availability at multiple sites using the on-line and telephone resources described in my message of last week and on the Yale Program site.
As we begin to cautiously ease restrictions for those who are fully vaccinated, it is important to remember that COVID-19 infection rates in New Haven and beyond remain high, with increasing evidence of the presence of the more infectious variants. Even if we have been vaccinated, we must continue to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following Yale’s health and safety guidelines—wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings, and participating in testing and contact tracing.
Once again, I thank you for all that you are doing to keep our campus and community as safe as possible.
Stephanie S. Spangler, M.D.
Vice Provost for Health Affairs and Academic Integrity
Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
University COVID-19 Coordinator