CDC says fully vaccinated people can go outdoors without masks, except in crowded public settings and indoors
You can now ditch your masks when exercising, dining outside with friends, walking your dog if you are fully vaccinated from COVID-19. That’s according to the new public health guidance issued Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, the CDC still recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in outdoor spaces where the risk of Covid-19 is less clear. Those include sporting events, crowded events like concerts, parades, and other crowded places.
“In public spaces, the vaccination status of other people or whether they are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 is likely unknown,” the CDC wrote in its guidance. “Therefore, fully vaccinated people should continue to follow guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a well-fitted mask, when indoors or in an outdoor setting or venue where masks are required.”
“CDC cannot provide the specific risk level for every activity in every community, so it is important to consider your own personal situation and the risk to you, your family, and your community before venturing out without a mask,” the agency added.
In a press briefing Tuesday announcing the change, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the latest research suggests transmission outdoors is rare, with indoor settings posing a “20-fold” increased risk. The CDC plans to further loosen suggested rules as more people become vaccinated and case numbers decline, she said.
“The more people who are vaccinated, the more steps we can take towards spending time with people we love doing the things we love to enjoy,” Walensky told reporters on Tuesday.
Below are the CDC’s new guidelines and recommendations.
The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings. For related information for healthcare settings, visit Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination.
Fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
- Take precautions in indoor public settings like wearing a well-fitted mask
- Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
- Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid indoor large-sized in-person gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations