CDC: Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask

Biden welcomes CDC’s directive as "a great day for America in our long battle with the coronavirus".

Ben Ariel ,

Face mask
Face mask

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay 6 feet away from others in most settings, whether outdoors or indoors, CNBC reported.

There are a handful of instances where people will still need to wear masks — in a health-care setting or at a business that requires them — even if they’ve had their final vaccine dose two or more weeks ago, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters at a press briefing.

Fully vaccinated people will also still need to wear masks on airplanes, buses, trains and other public transportation, she said.

“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” Walensky said. “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.”

She added that unvaccinated people should still continue to wear masks, adding they remain at risk of mild or severe illness, death, and risk of spreading the disease to others. People with compromised immune systems should speak with their doctor before giving up their masks, she said.

There is always a chance the CDC could change its guidance again if the pandemic worsens or additional variants emerge, stressed Walensky.

President Joe Biden welcomed the CDC’s directive on Thursday.

“Today is a great day for America in our long battle with the coronavirus. Just a few hours ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the CDC — announced that they are no longer recommending that fully vaccinated people need wear masks. This recommendation holds true whether you are inside or outside,” said Biden.

“I think it’s a great milestone. A great day. It’s been made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly,” he added.

“To date, we have given out 250 million shots in 114 days, and we’re seeing the results. Cases are down in 49 of the 50 states. The New York Times has reported that hospitalizations are the lowest they’ve been since April of 2020, over a year ago, right after the start of the pandemic. Deaths are down 80 percent and also at their lowest levels since April of 2020.”

Biden also pointed out that “We aren’t done yet. We’re still losing too many Americans because we still have too many unvaccinated people. We have to get to 70 percent of adults started on vaccinations by July the 4th. And we have to take this pandemic, tackle it not just here, but overseas as well to truly be safe in the long run.”