High hopes for air travel in 2021?

People check their bags at the American Airlines desk at the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.

BOZEMAN, Mont. – New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allows fully vaccinated people to travel within the U.S. without getting tested for the COVID-19 or going into quarantine afterward.

The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport Director Brian Sprenger said the new CDC guidance along with increased vaccine distribution is getting more people out this spring.

“For the month of March we’re looking at about 80 to 85 percent of 2019 March so much better than we’ve seen but still not back to normal,” Sprenger said. “Right now we’re kind of expecting a continual increase and hopefully by Summer if all goes well and vaccinations work and everything then maybe we’ll be on track for record level by the summer.”

The airport's summer flight schedule includes non-stop service to 29 summer markets, a record for the airport served by nine airline brands.

Sprenger also mentioned Delta Airlines is going to resume selling middle seats beginning in May after changing up COVID-19 safety precautions.

Previously, the CDC warned against unnecessary travel even for vaccinated people, but noted that it would update its guidance as more people got vaccinated and evidence about protection increased.

According to the CDC, nearly 100 million people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.

Unvaccinated people are still advised to avoid unnecessary travel and everyone should still wear a mask, socially distance and avoid crowds.

For international travel, the CDC said vaccinated people do not need to get a COVID-19 test before leaving, though some destinations may require it.

More information on the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport can be found here.

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