The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that fully vaccinated Americans may return to normal life without masks whether they are indoors or outdoors in the vast majority of settings.
What are the details?
The CDC on Thursday afternoon issued new guidance regarding mask-wearing and businesses.
The organization's latest announcement reveals that Americans are no longer advised to wear masks either indoors or outdoors save for a handful of instances including in health care settings, at businesses that require them, or on airliners.
The CDC also announced that the six-foot social distancing guideline is no longer necessary for fully vaccinated Americans.
During an afternoon White House briefing, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing. 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."
The infectious diseases expert continued, "Based on the continuing downward trajectory of cases, the scientific data on the performance of our vaccines, and our understanding of how the virus spreads, that moment has come for those who are fully vaccinated."
Walensky added that unvaccinated Americans should still continue to wear masks and continue social distancing.
“This is an exciting and powerful moment, it could only happen because of the work of so many who made sure we have the rapid administration of three safe and effective vaccines," she added.
A person is considered fully vaccinated when two weeks following their last dose of a COVID-19 vaccine have elapsed.
According to the Associated Press, approximately 154 million Americans — more than 46 percent of the population — have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. More than 117 million Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the report.