By: Alyssa Wilson
Those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, regardless of group size, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Director for the CDC, said, “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things you stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
For those who are immune-compromised, Walensky recommended they speak to their doctor before losing their mask. She also said that the recommendations could shift if the “unpredictable” virus changes.
The recommendations for not wearing a mask if fully vaccinated do not apply to areas where there are mask mandates required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial rules or regulations. This includes local businesses and workplaces.
Mask wearing will still be required on planes, buses, trains and all forms of public transportation in the United States. International travelers arriving in the United States who are fully vaccinated are still required to get a COVID-19 test within three days of their flight.
President Joe Biden praised the CDC for the new guidance, stating:, “I think it’s a great milestone, a great day. It’s been made possible by the extraordinary success we have had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly.”
To help Biden reach his goal of vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults by Independence Day, his administration has partnered with Uber and Lyft to offer free rides to vaccination sites from May 24 to July 4.
As of May 13, 46.6% of the U.S. population received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 35.8% of the population is fully vaccinated.