US COVID Update: Masks No Longer Required in the US for the Vaccinated

US COVID Update: Masks No Longer Required in the US for the Vaccinated

In a major step towards returning to some sort of normalcy, the Center For Disease Control (CDC) has issued new guidance that states fully vaccinated people in the United States no longer have to wear a mask outdoors or indoors and do not have to practice social distancing.

The guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals but it will help pave the way for reopening workplaces, schools and other venues. 

The announcement by federal public health officials is one of the most significant relaxations of COVID-19 measures since the pandemic began.

Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physically distancing.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky

While the federal guidance on the wearing of face masks has been lifted for fully vaccinated people, individual states, counties and cities may still enforce the use of face masks for everyone. Each business can also choose if they require face masks within their stores.

Travel is Safe for Fully Vaccinated 

In April, the CDC said fully vaccinated people can travel safely within the US and internationally without the need for testing or quarantines. While the CDC says it’s safe to travel, they have yet to drop the required COVID-19 test for incoming vaccinated travellers. 

That means fully vaccinated Americans that go on vacation abroad must still present proof of a negative COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours upon returning home. The same rule applies for all foreigners arriving in the US.

Backed by Studies

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated that new evidence from the US and Israel shows that the vaccines are as strongly protective in real world use as they were in earlier studies.

While some people still get COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, Walensky said that it’s rare, and cited evidence that those infections tend to be milder, shorter and do not spread to others easily.

The CDC director urged those who are immune-compromised to speak with their doctors first before not wearing a mask, and said that those who are not vaccinated remain at risk for mild or severe illness and death and should still wear masks.

The science is … very clear about unvaccinated people. You remain at risk of mild or severe illness or death or spreading the disease to others. You should still mask up and you should get vaccinated right away.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky

What are your thoughts on this issue? Is this a sign that the international travel ban will be lifted for the vaccinated? Talk to us in the comment section below.

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