CDC Says Masks Are No Longer Required in Most Settings for Fully Vaccinated Individuals
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This long-awaited guidance loosens the CDC’s recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals, allowing them to stop wearing a mask in most settings. In addition, the agency says that those who are fully vaccinated can safely resume activities they had participated in pre-pandemic.
CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People
According to the agency, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. They are also considered fully vaccinated two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The most notable update from the CDC’s new recommendations is that those who are fully vaccinated can resume indoor and outdoor activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. In addition, this new CDC guidance says fully vaccinated people can:
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel, or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible
For now, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to get tested if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
CDC Guidance for Unvaccinated People
According to the CDC, unvaccinated people should continue to take preventive steps, such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. However, according to the agency, it’s safe for those unvaccinated people to walk, run or bike outdoors with members of their household without wearing a mask. In addition, the agency says it is safe to take off the mask when attending a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends.
As the CDC learns more, it will continue to update its recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. To learn more, the agency offers resources for choosing safer activities for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
We will keep you updated on noteworthy developments.