Fully vaccinated people in the United States can now safely go out in public without having to wear a mask, unless they are attending a crowded venue, health officials and the US president announced on Tuesday.
In newly updated guidelines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said fully vaccinated Americans can walk, bike, socialise or dine in an outdoor restaurant without having to wear a mask.“Beginning today, gathering with a group of friends in a park going for a picnic, as long as you are vaccinated and outdoors you can do it without a mask,” US President Joe Biden said during remarks on Tuesday.
Biden said he has set a target date of July 4th, the nation’s Independence Day to get the country “close to normal” and “celebrate independence from the virus.”
Earlier on Tuesday, CDC director Rochelle Walensky announced that fully vaccinated people – defined as being two weeks post having taken both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine – can partake in outdoor social activities without having to wear a mask.
“There are many situations where fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask, particularly if they are outdoors,” Walensky said at a news briefing.
“If you are fully vaccinated and want to attend a small outdoor gathering with people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated or dining at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households,” Walensky said, “the science shows if you are vaccinated you can do so safely unmasked.”
But she added that the CDC recommends that Americans continue to wear masks outdoors when attending crowded venues.
“Generally, for vaccinated people outdoor activities without a mask are safe,” she said, “however we continue to recommend masking in crowded outdoor settings and venues such as packed stadiums and concerts.”