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CDC unveils new mask guidance for fully vaccinated Americans

Washington — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled updated guidelines on Tuesday detailing activities that vaccinated people can safely resume, including attending small outdoor gatherings without the need to wear a mask.

The new “interim public health recommendations” detail a variety of situations in which individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can forgo wearing a mask, but urged the continued use of face coverings in most indoor settings and in crowded outdoor areas.

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“Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a briefing by Biden administration officials. “Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time telling Americans what they cannot do, what they should not do. Today, I’m going to tell you some of the things you can do if you are fully vaccinated.”

The new recommendations say fully vaccinated individuals can engage in the following activities without wearing masks:

  • Walking, running, hiking or biking outdoors alone or with members of their household
  • Attending small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends
  • Attending small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people
  • Dining at outdoor restaurants with friends from multiple households.

Fully vaccinated people can also attend “a crowded, outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports event,” as long as they remain masked, according to a CDC infographic of the new guidelines.

An infographic from the CDC released on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, showing various activities that fully vaccinated individuals can resume. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“I am optimistic that people will use this information to take personal responsibility to protect themselves and protect others,” Walensky said.

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