USA says vaccinated people can stop wearing masks

Lawrence Kim
May 13, 2021

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, was set to announce the changes to the guidance Thursday afternoon at a White House briefing.

Cruise passengers who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to take their masks off outdoors as long as they aren't in crowds, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. In April, the CDC said cruising can restart more quickly if ships have at least 98% of crew and 95% of passengers fully vaccinated. Operators should "consider prohibiting" such activity for passengers and crew who are not fully vaccinated, the agency says.

Walensky said that fully vaccinated people can participate in indoor or outdoor activities without a mask or social distancing, saying that "if you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing".

The decision was made based on numerous reports and literature that have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, Walensky said, adding: "We have all longed for this moment when can get back to some sense of normalcy". She said that there is now ample real-world evidence that vaccines are reducing the spread of the virus between fully-vaccinated people.

It could ease restrictions for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues.

The new indoor masking guidance follows a CDC announcement two weeks ago that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask when they're outdoors unless they're in a crowd, such as attending a live performance, sporting event or parade.

The announcement came amid mounting public pressure nationwide and in California, where almost 50% of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and coronavirus case rates have dropped dramatically.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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