EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — On Friday, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that it is safe for fully vaccinated grandparents to visit their grandchildren.
“Fully vaccinated grandparents can fly to visit their healthy grandkids without getting a COVID-19 test, or self-quarantining, provided they follow the other recommended prevention measures,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday during a White House Press briefing.
That’s exciting news for James and Lidia Harris, who haven’t seen their grandchildren who live in El Paso, for a year.
“We both have our shots, both shots, so a little bit more comfortable, plus people are doing what they’re supposed to do,” said Lydia Harris.
The two flew into the El Paso International Airport from Atlanta on Friday afternoon and had an emotional reunion outside the airport doors as their granddaughter and son-in-law came to pick them up.
The family could be seen embracing before putting bags into the back of the car.
“Pretty excited honestly, and I’m glad that I have this opportunity as well, because I know a lot of people don’t,” said Jasmine Deschamps, the Harris’ granddaughter.
Just a few feet away from the reunion of the Harris and Deschamps family, another couple could be seen with their bags waiting to get picked up.
Mona and Don Eiring flew in from Wisconsin to visit their grandchildren in El Paso and are both fully vaccinated.
“It feels so good. When we got our second shot, it was like this weight lifted off of our shoulders,” said Mona Eiring.
The couple told KTSM 9 News that their grandchildren have no idea they are coming and they plan to surprise them, adding that Friday is their grandson’s ninth birthday.
Ahead of Easter weekend, the CDC provided updated guidance for people planning to travel.
According to the CDC, if you are fully vaccinated, you can travel safely in the United States and do not need to get tested before traveling unless where you’re traveling to requires testing and you do not need to self-quarantine.
If you are not fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends postponing travel plans. Being fully vaccinated means two weeks have passed since you received your second dose.
However, the CDC Director says non-essential travel is still discouraged.
“We haven’t changed our guidance for non-essential travel at all. We are not recommending travel at this time,” Walensky said during Friday’s press conference.