US CDC Lifts Outdoor Mask Mandate For Fully Vaccinated People

People who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, however, are still recommended to wear a face mask in indoor public settings, or when gathering indoors with unvaccinated people from more than one other household.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday that people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 aren’t required to wear a face mask outdoors when there is no crowd.

The new CDC guidance issued yesterday maintained a mask mandate for fully vaccinated people — defined as two weeks after their second dose for two-dose coronavirus vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine like Johnson & Johnson — at crowded outdoor events like concerts, parades, or sporting events.

“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” CDC said in a statement.

“Outdoor visits and activities are safer than indoor activities, and fully vaccinated people can participate in some indoor events safely, without much risk.”

The CDC listed outdoor activities like walking, running, or biking outdoors with members of one’s own household; attending small outdoor gatherings; and dining at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households where fully vaccinated people do not have to wear a mask. 

Wearing face masks or practising physical distancing also are not required for fully vaccinated people when gathering indoors with unvaccinated people of any age from one other household, such as visiting relatives who all live together, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from Covid-19.

However, fully vaccinated people are still recommended to wear a face covering in indoor public settings, when attending a small indoor gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household, or when visiting indoors with an unvaccinated person who is at higher risk of severe illness or death from Covid-19.

Masks continue to be recommended for fully vaccinated people doing indoor activities, such as visiting a hair salon, an “uncrowded” indoor shopping centre or museum, or an indoor movie theatre; eating at an indoor restaurant or bar; or attending a full-capacity worship service. 

The CDC also urged fully vaccinated people to continue avoiding large indoor gatherings.

Fully vaccinated people will also still be required to wear a face mask on public transport and in US transportation hubs like airports and stations. 

People who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to get tested before or after travel within the US, nor self-quarantine after travel. Fully vaccinated Americans travelling abroad do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the US, but they should still get tested three to five days after international travel.

Fully vaccinated people also do not need to stay away from other people or to get tested, unless they develop symptoms, after being around someone who has Covid-19.

Testing and self-isolation, however, is recommended if a fully vaccinated person who lives in a group setting (like a detention centre or group home) has contact with a positive Covid-19 case.

US president Joe Biden reportedly said yesterday that the US has made “stunning progress” in administering Covid-19 vaccines and that stringent mask requirements can now be relaxed.

“Yes, the vaccines are about saving your life and the lives of the people around you. But they are also about helping you get back to normal living. Go get the shot — it’s never been easier,” he tweeted yesterday.

The CDC reported that 43 per cent of the US population has received one dose of two-shot vaccines, while just over 29 per cent are fully vaccinated.

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