WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated public health guidance for COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday, saying that fully-vaccinated individuals no long need to wear face masks or maintain six feet of distance from other people in most indoor locations.
Masks are still needed in a select few situations, such as if people are at a hospital, if a business requires them, or if you are a passenger on an airplane, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” she said during a press conference held on Thursday. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
Walensky said that vaccinated people may still want to consider wearing masks if they are in crowded places where there may be unvaccinated individuals, but ultimately the decision to wear a mask at this point is up to the individual and their comfort level, she noted.
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Those who have not been vaccinated should continue to wear masks, Walensky said, since they are at risk of contracting COVID-19 and/or spreading it to others.
“This is an exciting and powerful moment, it could only happen because of the work of so many who made sure we have the rapid administration of three safe and effective vaccines,” she said.
Currently, over 151 million American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC, and approximately 116 million are fully vaccinated.