Fully vaccinated people can now expose at small outdoor gatherings or dining out with friends in multiple households. The CDC tells unvaccinated people that they must still wear a mask at such gatherings.
“If you are fully vaccinated and want to attend a small outdoor gathering with vaccinated and unvaccinated people, or dine with friends from multiple households in an outdoor restaurant, there is a scientifically safe way to expose this if you are vaccinated.” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a virtual briefing at the White House on Tuesday.
“For vaccinated individuals, outdoor activities without a mask are generally safe. However, we still recommend masking in crowded outdoor areas and venues, such as crowded stadiums and concerts, where the ability to maintain physical distance is reduced and where there are many unvaccinated people may also be present, “said Walensky. “We will continue to recommend this until comprehensive vaccination is achieved.”
However, life will not return to full normal in people who are fully vaccinated.
The federal health department says even if you have been vaccinated you should avoid large indoor gatherings. The CDC did not define how many people would be in a large gathering.
Wearing a mask is recommended for fully vaccinated individuals who have chosen to attend a crowded outdoor event such as a live performance, parade, or sporting event.
The CDC advises vaccinated people to continue wearing masks in indoor public spaces such as shopping malls, cinemas or museums. The CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask.
CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the new recommendations for outdoor masks on Tuesday.
The CDC is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
President Joe Biden is expected to refer to the updated guidelines for wearing masks outdoors before his first address to Congress on Wednesday and to comment on the state of the pandemic on Tuesday.
One of Biden’s top coronavirus advisors, Dr. Anthony Fauci, strongly indicated to CNN that the guidelines would be updated this week. Fauci told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Sunday that he didn’t want to be ahead of the CDC, but the agency would “update their guidelines on what vaccinated people and even some unvaccinated people can do”.
On Tuesday morning, before the updated mask tour was announced, U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra said on CBS This Morning that people vaccinated against Covid-19 can return to a more normal lifestyle.
“The message is clear. You are vaccinated, guess what, you can go back to a more normal lifestyle. If you aren’t vaccinated you are still at risk. You are still at risk too,” Becerra said. “So get vaccinated.”
Scientifically motivated changes
The CDC said it was motivated to update its guidelines for fully vaccinated people after the number of people vaccinated rose and the rate of Covid-19 cases fell, said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky during a virtual briefing at the White House Tuesday.
“There’s growing evidence to suggest that most of the transmission occurs indoors rather than outdoors. In many studies, less than 10% of documented transmissions were outdoors,” said Walensky.
“We also know that the risk of transmission indoors is almost 20 times higher than outdoors. This, along with the fact that 37% of people over the age of 18 are now fully vaccinated and our case rates are now starting to decline, which is our change.” the guidelines motivated, “said Walensky. “As more people are vaccinated and case rates continue to drop, we will provide more updates.”
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.