The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday that individuals inoculated against COVID-19 can meet in small groups with other vaccinated people without masks, but that they should keep wearing them outside the home.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a briefing that fully vaccinated individuals can visit with unvaccinated, low-risk people from one other household without masks.
The public health guidelines are designed to help increasing numbers of vaccinated people safely resume some more normal activities and contacts with those outside their households while the coronavirus is still widely circulating.
The recommendations come as about 30 million people, or 9.2 percent of the US population, have been fully inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer Inc/ BioNTech, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, according to CDC data.
Nearly 18 percent of the US population, or 58.9 million adults had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two shots a few weeks apart. The more recently authorized J&J option is a one-shot vaccine.