Indy travelers excited for new CDC guidelines, say ‘it’s time to go’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control this week announced relaxed rules for travelers who are fully vaccinated, easing requirements for testing and quarantining.

Many hope this is just the beginning.

Susan Alonso came up from Sugarland, Texas, to go to the University of Houston’s Final Four game.

“I’m so excited. I’ve been sitting in my house for a year now and it’s time to go,” Alonso said.

The Final Four was the final straw. She’s been fully vaccinated for three weeks. With the latest announcement from the CDC, she’s ready for more.

“I’ve got a son in Los Angeles, I’ve got a son in New Orleans, I’m going to be all over the place,” she said. “Why would you get vaccinated if you can’t do that?”

The love of team also brought Robert and Robbie Dickson out of quarantine. The Dicksons live in Houston and are graduates of the university.

“This is the first time we’ve traveled since the pandemic,” Robbie said.

They’ve been vaccinated for two months now. Usually they make several trips a year to support the hardware store they own. They also like the new CDC guidelines.

“That’s for each person to decide. I was hesitant. He wasn’t,” she said.

Masks are still required and social distancing is still recommended.

The CDC recommends unvaccinated people get a COVID test 1-3 days before traveling and again 3-5 days after. They’re also recommended to stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after traveling domestically.

But now, fully vaccinated people just need to monitor themselves for symptoms and only isolate if they develop symptoms.

Still, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the changing guidelines are not a recommendation to travel for anyone.

“While we believe that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, CDC is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases,” Walensky said.

Rich and Anita Halpern came to see their children at Purdue University from Philadelphia.

“As a mom, it’s really good to know that I can go and I can hug my kids tonight,” Anita Halpern said.

It’s something they can’t do with their parents yet. They’ve gotten one shot, but are not fully vaccinated. But the news provides hope.

“I’m glad they’re taking the steps they are,” Anita said. “I’m glad we have a possibility of moving forward with our society the way it used to be.”

Alonso is ready for a few more flights.

“I’m going to go like crazy,” she said. “I’ve got to keep my A-list status with Southwest Airlines. I’ve got a lot of traveling to do to be able to do that.”

The CDC has also loosened some restrictions for fully vaccinated people for international travel. However, they still must get a COVID-19 test within 3 days of coming back to the United States.