Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the end of summer, with Americans gathering for celebratory barbecues and pool parties before the school year kicks into gear.
But if you’re not vaccinated, you shouldn’t be traveling this weekend, or at all. That’s according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky.
“First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 press briefing on Tuesday.
“If you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling.”
— CDC director Rochelle Walensky
The warning comes as the delta variant of COVID-19 continues its spread across the U.S. The seven-day average of cases in the U.S. is about 129,000 a day, Walensky said.
Roughly 52.4% of the total U.S. population is fully vaccinated, according to the CDC’s tracker. Walensky also urged Americans to talk to their unvaccinated family and friends, and encourage them to get vaccinated over the long weekend.
Walensky also recommended that people who are gathering this weekend spend time outside, as “the vast majority of transmission takes place among unvaccinated people in closed, indoor settings.”
If you are spending time with people indoors, Walensky said to mask up regardless of vaccination status.
“As I’ve said before, masks are not forever, but they are for now,” she said. “Given the high transmissibility of the delta variant and the significant community transmission in this country, wearing a mask is the easiest way for anyone, regardless of your vaccination status, to slow the spread of disease.”
Masks are still required by law on public transportation, including planes, trains and buses.
While the CDC recommends that people not travel until they’re fully vaccinated, if you must travel, it advises to get tested 1-3 days before leaving. While traveling, avoid crowds and maintain social distancing practices and wash your hands often. Upon returning home, get tested and quarantine for seven days.