CDC relaxes mask guidelines for fully vaccinated

UPI News
UPI News
The CDC relaxed guidelines for people in the U.S. vaccinated against COVID-19, saying they do not need to wear masks or social distance.Photo courtesy of Pixabay

By Brian Dunleavy

People in the United States who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not have to wear masks or maintain social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings, according to recommendations released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

However, even people who are fully vaccinated still must cover their noses and mouths and physically distance themselves when they go to doctors, hospitals or nursing homes, or when they use buses, planes, trains and other forms of mass transit.

They also must continue these practices while in places such as airports, train and bus stations, and while in prisons, jails or homeless shelters, CDC said.

"If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said during a White House Covid-19 briefing.

"We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy," Walensky said.

People are fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive their second dose of the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the agency.

Still, those who meet the criteria must continue to abide by existing state, local or tribal laws and regulations on wearing masks and social distancing, and follow local rules for businesses and workplaces.

Previously, the CDC has said that everyone should wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of distance between others when in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The new recommendation is based on data from several recent studies showing that vaccines are more than 90% effective at preventing mild and severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in real world settings.

The vaccines also have been effective against variants of the coronavirus that are circulating in the United States, the CDC said.

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