The Centers for Disease Control announced on Thursday that fully-vaccinated people can ditch their masks indoors — in most cases. The announcement further eases federal government recommendations for safety during the Covid-19 crisis.
In a tweet, the CDC said, “If you are fully vaccinated against #COVID19, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, incl. local business and workplace guidance.”
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
It was not immediately clear if California and local health officials would align with the new CDC guidance. The CDC’s guidance serve as a series of recommendations, but state and local authorities can impose stricter requirements based on circumstances.
The new CDC guidance does not completely drop mask recommendations for vaccinated people. Face coverings are still recommended in some settings — such as aboard planes and buses or in crowded settings such as hospitals.
Walensky also said people who are vaccinated but are immune compromised should “talk to your doctor before giving up your mask.”
The White House also tweeted about the news.
President Joe Biden plans to speak at the White House on the latest progress on vaccinations this afternoon.
Last month, the CDC eased its guidance on wearing masks outdoors.
The exception will be wearing marks in crowded venues, as well as in places like airplanes, hospitals and transit. The CDC released a new chart showing the current basic recommendations.
For Californians, the guidance would seem to clarify slightly contradictory statements from Governor Gavin Newsom in the past two days. On Tuesday, Newsom was asked by a reporter if there would be a mask mandate after June 15. The usually-loquacious Newsom said simply, “No.” He did go on to explain the rare circumstances where masks would still be needed.
“Only in those massively large [indoor] settings where people from around the world are convening & people are mixing in real dense spaces. Otherwise…no mandates,” he said.
On Wednesday, the California Governor seemed to remove the “massively large” from his indoor prohibition, telling reporters, “For indoor activities we still will have, likely, some mask mandates. But the hope is those will be lifted sooner rather than later.”
What that seems to mean for venues such as movie theaters is that, except where everyone is fully vaccinated, attendees will still need to wear masks for the foreseeable future.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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