Fully vaccinated people in the Unites States can forego wearing a face mask and do not have to stay 2m away from others in most settings, whether outdoors or indoors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday, May 13 in updated public health guidance.
The White House shared the new public health guidance on social media to relief, anger, and amusement, amongst a mix of emotions from the people.
No need masks or social distancing
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” CDC director and doctor, Rochelle Walensky, told reporters at a press briefing.
She added: “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
However, this is not a blanket rule as there are settings where masks still have to be worn.
These include having to wear masks on airplanes, buses, trains and other public transportation, as well as in a health-care setting or at a business that requires face masks, Walensky also said.
However, unvaccinated people should still continue to wear masks, she added.
She said these individuals remain at risk of mild or severe illness, death, and risk of spreading the disease to others.
People with compromised immune systems should speak with their doctor before giving up their masks, she also said.
She added there is always a chance the CDC could change its guidance again if the Covid-19 pandemic worsens or additional variants emerge.
White House announces plan ahead of July 4th celebrations
The announcement from the CDC comes just ahead of the Memorial Day and Fourth of July parade season.
President Joe Biden has said he hopes to see enough Americans vaccinated by Independence Day to safely hold outdoor gatherings.
The goal was to get 70 per cent of U.S. adults to receive at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and having 160 million adults fully vaccinated by July 4.
As of May 12, more than 151 million Americans age 18 and older, or 58.7 per cent of the U.S. adult population, have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Top photo via The White House