The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday (local time) announced that people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need their masks indoors and outdoors.
In a guideline on its website, the CDC said that if people are fully vaccinated, they can resume their activities without any further restrictions prior to the pandemic. “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance,” it said.
People travelling in the United States will no longer need to get tested before or after arrival or self-quarantine after travel.
However, people will still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States, and get tested 3-5 days after international travel.Furthermore, if anyone has been around someone who has COVID-19, they do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless they have symptoms.
However, the CDC asked the people to follow the guidance at the workplace and local businesses and watch out for COVID-19 symptoms.”COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death,” it said.
The CDC also urged people to find a COVID-19 vaccine if they haven’t been vaccinated yet.
“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,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 briefing.
According to The Hill, this update comes as the agency has been criticised for being too slow to react to changing science, overly cautious and even contradictory in its recommendations to the public.Last month, the CDC said it is safe for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be outside without a mask, but only in small groups.
According to The Hill, the guidance, which CDC Director Rochelle Walensky outlined during a White House press conference Tuesday, builds on previous updates from the agency about the activities people can feel comfortable with once fully vaccinated.
According to the agency, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks during small, outdoor gatherings even if there’s a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
Dining at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households is also considered a safe activity for vaccinated people to do without a mask, the agency said.According to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the US has recorded 32,839,259 COVID-19 infections and 5,84,230 deaths.
Speaking at the White House, Biden said: ‘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 to wear masks. This recommendation holds true whether you are inside or outside. 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.” “Over these past 114 days, our vaccination program has led the world. And that’s due to the incredible hard work of so many people: the scientists and researchers; the drug companies; the National Guard; the U.S. military; FEMA; the nation’s governors, doctors, nurses, pharmacists everyone who has moved Heaven and Earth to get as many shots into arms of as many Americans as possible,” he further said.
Biden further said that “a day will come when the memory of the loved one you lost will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye”.For those people who have not been vaccinated, the US President said that they still need to wear a mask.
“Look, we’ve gotten this far; please protect yourself until you get to the finish line. Because as great as this announcement is today, we don’t want to let up. We all know how tough this virus has been. The safest thing for the country is for everyone to get vaccinated,” he said.