They can also resume activities without distancing, in gatherings large or small.
Fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks indoors and outdoors, according to new guidelines published by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the United States, those vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer have to wear masks indoors or maintain a physical distance from other people, the country’s main federal public health agency said on Thursday.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in activities in indoor and outdoor spaces, small or large, without wearing a mask or (respecting) physical distance,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said.
“If you’re fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic,” she added at a briefing at the White House.
UPDATE: If you are fully vaccinated against #COVID19, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, incl. local business and workplace guidance. More: https://t.co/FJMon7WlFO
— CDC (@CDCgov) May 13, 2021
The new CDC guidance, however, maintains the recommendation that fully vaccinated people continue to wear face masks when traveling on public transportation (airplanes, buses, trains) as well as at airports and railway stations.
“We’ve all longed for this moment when we could get back to a sense of normalcy,” Walensky said.
Currently, about 35 % of the US population, or more than 117 million people, have received the required vaccine dose, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is given in a single injection, while Pfizer and Moderna require two.
The decision was made in light of scientific studies that showed the vaccines are effective even against asymptomatic infections and circulating variants, she explained.
She also highlighted the fact that the few people who became infected with Covid-19 despite being vaccinated turned out to be less contagious.
Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States must still get tested within three days of their flight, or show documentation of recovery for Covid-19 in the last three months.
Walensky said immunosuppressed people should talk to their doctor before putting off the mask. Immunosuppressed people have been shown not to respond as well to vaccines.
The new recommendation is subject to change if the situation worsens.