MEMPHIS, TENN. — After a year of lockdowns and quarantine, many people are itching to travel.
The Centers for Disease Control released some promising new guidelines on Friday for those looking to get out of town. The CDC said travel is now considered ‘low risk’ for those who have been fully vaccinated.
“If you’re vaccinated and you can travel, it’s a good thing,” Rohit Narayanaswany said.
Narayanaswany and his family are headed to see family in India. It’s their first time traveling since the pandemic began.
“As long are you’re wearing masks and just follow the guidelines, I think you’ll be ok,” he said.
Although travel still isn’t recommended, the CDC said if precautions are taken, those fully vaccinated can travel within the U.S. without getting tested and self-quarantining after.
“The CDC’s announcement today is going to be a big boom for travel, there is no doubt about it,” CEO and president of Memphis tourism Kevin Kane said.
Kane said it is good news for the tourism industry. Pre-Covid, he said an average of 12 million people visited Memphis and Shelby County each year.
In 2020, he said that number dropped to around 5 million.
“Travel means jobs. Over the past year, 65 percent of the unemployment was in the tourism and hospitality sector,” Kane said.
More jobs and more travel.
Those heading out of town like Daniel Brown said he’s still playing it safe.
“I keep my hand sanitizer, that’s probably my biggest thing,” Brown said. “If I touch anything, right after that I’m using my hand sanitizer.”
Officials with the Memphis airport said travel has already been picking up.
In March, they said over 138,000 people flew out of the airport, making it the busiest month in over a year.