U.S. health officials say Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 don’t need to wear masks outdoors unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the updated guidance Tuesday. Previously the CDC had been advising that people should wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of each other.
CDC updated guidance April 27, 2021:
- Guiding principles for fully vaccinated people are now provided.
- Underscore that immunocompromised people, need to consult their healthcare provider about these recommendations, even if fully vaccinated
- Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
- Clarification that fully vaccinated workers no longer need to be restricted from work following an exposure as long as they are asymptomatic.
- Fully vaccinated residents of non-healthcare congregate settings no longer need to quarantine following a known exposure.
- Fully vaccinated asymptomatic people without an exposure may be exempted from routine screening testing, if feasible.
The change comes as more than half of U.S. adults have gotten at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and more than a third have been fully vaccinated.
The CDC guidance says fully vaccinated or not, people don’t have to wear masks outdoors when they walk, bike or run alone or with members of their household. They also can go maskless in small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people.
Unvaccinated people should wear masks at outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people. They also should keep using masks at outdoor restaurants.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has killed more than 570,000 people in the U.S., the highest death toll in the world.