CDC says fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks

Mar 8, 2021

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines on Monday about what Americans who are fully vaccinated can do.

People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may now visit indoors with other fully vaccinated people (or with unvaccinated people who are low-risk for COVID-19), without wearing masks or social distancing. People who have been fully vaccinated can also avoid quarantine and testing if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 but remain asymptomatic.

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The CDC says these guidelines apply to people who have had both two-dose vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or a one-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson), and it’s been two weeks after they received the last dose.

But if you’re a traveler hoping for travel guidelines to be relaxed, those requirements have not changed. The CDC still advises people to put off travel for now and recommends that people who are traveling should get tested for COVID-19 before and after the trip, and quarantine for at least seven days after returning home. Additionally, all travelers flying to the United States need to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test before boarding. Travelers who have been vaccinated are not exempt.

Over 30 million people in the United States having received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations, which is just under 10% of the population.

Last month, the CDC updated its guidelines to say fully vaccinated people would no longer be required to quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID-19 if they meet all the criteria.

To meet these criteria, a person must be fully vaccinated, be within three months following receipt of the last dose in the series and have remained asymptomatic since exposure. But even if you choose to skip quarantine, the CDC still recommends following current guidance and monitoring for signs of COVID-19.

Featured photo by Tami Chappell/AFP/Getty Images.

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