May 13, 2021 – People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear masks or physical distance, regardless of the location or size of the concentration, the CDC announced Thursday.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physically distancing themselves,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said in a briefing Thursday. “We all wanted this moment when we can return to a certain sense of normalcy.
“This is an exciting and powerful moment,” he said. “It could only go through the work of so many who made sure we had the rapid administration of three safe and effective vaccines.”
CDC guidelines were quickly imposed, even in the White House. President Joe Biden met Thursday with a group of Republican senators to discuss an infrastructure plan and all took off their masks as they met, according to the White House press.
Biden later spoke about the CDC’s new direction and what it means for the country.
“You have done what I consider to be your patriotic duty,” Biden said, referring to the millions of Americans who have been vaccinated. “That’s how we’ve come to this day.”
It’s wonderful news for those who have been vaccinated, Biden said.
“But if you haven’t been vaccinated … you still have to wear a mask,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. Protect yourself until we reach the finish line. No matter how big this announcement is, we don’t want to leave it today. “
“For now, after a year of so much work and sacrifice, the message is simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do. It is “vaxat or masked”.
Walensky said three major studies on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against the original virus and its variants helped inform the virus. new orientation. An Israeli study found that the vaccine was 97% effective against symptomatic infection.
Those with symptoms should still wear masks, he said, and those who are immunocompromised should talk to their doctors for more guidance. The CDC advises travelers to wear masks while on planes, buses, or trains. The guide continues to call for the use of masks in some indoor settings, including hospitals, homeless shelters and prisons.