Travelers hope updated CDC guidelines will give boost to airline industry

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The CDC has given the green light to people who've been fully vaccinated to safely get on an airplane.

Those in arrivals and departures at Mitchell International Airport say they're thrilled with the new guidelines. They hope it gets the airline industry back to where it was before the pandemic began.

COVID-19 didn't stop frequent flier Michael Sledge. He thinks the CDC announcement will draw more individuals, vaccinated or not, to airports.

“I’ve felt pretty secure flying at that time, but I think the general public, they’ll feel much better knowing that the person sitting next to you has been vaccinated,” said Michael Sledge, who grew up in Milwaukee.

On Friday, the CDC said it's safe for airline passengers who've been fully vaccinated -- that's two weeks after their last dose.

“So important for people to make sure they get that second dose, it’s not run out to the airport necessarily,” said Dr. Matt Anderson, senior medical director of primary care at UW Health.

Dr. Matt Anderson throws a bit of caution.

“Recognizing that it’s not zero risk, but it’s reasonable and I think especially with Wisconsin opening up, hopefully people feel this is another thing that they can do when they’re vaccinated and an added benefit,” said Dr. Anderson.

As comfort levels rise, travel experts expect planes to fill to capacity.

“Definitely, that’s why in this month or next month or two, prices will go up, especially with more and more people who’ve been vaccinated want to travel, it will go up,” said Esaid Quezada-Lopez of Flylda Travel Agency in Milwaukee.

Planning a summer getaway, you may want to book your trip now.

What you'll find at the airport? What you'd expect. Social distancing markers and people in masks. Could we start to see different rules for the vaccinated versus the non-vaccinated? For now, no.

“No changes, like no major changes or anything,” said Stephanie Staudinger, Mitchell International Airport spokesperson.

Stephanie Staudinger says if airport management makes any changes, they'll post them online.

“So we have a COVID alert service page that is on the main page of our website. There’s a clickable link,” said Staudinger.

To view that webpage, click here.

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