Federal officials have announced that all U.S. citizens who have been fully vaccinated can now go without masks when outdoors, except in crowded settings.
The CDC announced earlier on Tuesday, April 12, that many Americans will now be able to go outside without a mask as long as they have been fully vaccinated. Those who haven’t received the vaccine yet can go outside without masks in some cases too.
“Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time telling Americans what they cannot do, what they should not do,” said CDC director Rochelle Walensky during a White House briefing. “Today, I’m going to tell you some of the things you can do if you are fully vaccinated.”
The new guidelines come as more than half of adult Americans have gotten at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and more than a third have been fully vaccinated.
The 96 million citizens who have been fully vaccinated will now be able to forego masks when walking, running, hiking or biking outdoors, or attending small outdoor gatherings and dining outdoors with friends and family from other households.
Unvaccinated people may also forego masks while walking, running, or biking alone or with other members of their household but should still wear masks at outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people, according to the CDC.
In addition to foregoing masks while outdoors, fully vaccinated people will also be able to visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing, refrain from testing or self-quarantining before and after domestic travel, and refrain from testing (unless required by the destination) when traveling overseas and quarantining upon return.
Despite the ease in measure, federal officials explained they would continue to enforce mask-wearing in crowded settings such as concerts and sports games and that fully vaccinated people should still continue taking precautions in indoor settings.
“Generally for vaccinated people, outdoor activities are safe,” explained Walensky. “However, we continue to recommend masking in crowded outdoor settings and venues, such as packed stadiums and concerts, where is decreased ability to maintain physical distance, and where many unvaccinated people may also be present. We will continue to recommend this until widespread vaccination is achieved.”
For a more detailed explanation of the new guidelines make sure to check the CDC’s website here.
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