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Here's why you should wait 2 weeks after getting the COVID-19 vaccine before traveling

The CDC recommends waiting two weeks after getting the second vaccine dose to travel because it takes time for the body to build protection after any vaccination.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The CDC is not recommending travel for spring break, even as the number of people being vaccinated increases across the country.

According to the CDC, travel increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. It recommends delaying travel and staying home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

A release from the U.S. Travel Association states that 12% of Americans plan to travel this spring break, which is down from 16% the week prior, when the question was first polled.

“The bottom line, people are still unsure how to travel, when to travel,” Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said. 

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Dow said those who are planning to travel this spring break are preferring outdoor destinations, places that can be driven to, and places with fewer COVID-19 restrictions.

“Until we get consistency in the country between states and cities, it’s going to be tough bringing back travel,” he said.

Once travel is recommended by the CDC, Dow said he predicts people will start booking trips again.

“Once they get that guidance and assurance from CDC, they’ll start planning,” Dow said. “Travel is like a coiled spring. People want to get out there. They’re sick of being cooped up in their houses.”

South Carolina is bracing for an influx of spring breakers during this time period.

“People have been cooped up for a year in many cases, so they want to get out and travel,” Duane Parrish, director of South Carolina Parks, Recreation, and Tourism said. 

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Parrish said he expects the numbers for this spring break period to be up compared with 2020 but not to the same level of pre-pandemic times.

“I anticipate the last half of this year to be at normal levels,” Parrish said. “Future bookings look very good.”

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster recently relaxed restrictions on mass gatherings and a curfew on alcohol sales.

Parrish said businesses are encouraged to keep their customers safe, regardless of any state mandates.

“They can feel free to do business,” Parrish said. “Smart operators will keep their own protocols in place to make people feel safe. People still want to feel that way, and I think the restaurants will do that and we sort of leave it up to the businesses to handle that.”

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Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said Tuesday that she is nervous about the impact spring break travel will have on the spread of COVID-19 when people return home. 

“Hopefully people are going to think seriously about how they get together around spring break, how they travel," Harris said, "and how they protect their families.”

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan.

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