More hope is on the horizon for those who have been fully vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that fully vaccinated people can exercise outdoors or host small outdoor gatherings without wearing a mask.
Amid America’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC eased more restrictions for the growing population of fully vaccinated people. The agency updated its public health guidance on Tuesday, allowing fully vaccinated people to engage in more outdoor activities without wearing a mask, CNBC reports.
In addition to outdoor workouts and small gatherings with others who are vaccinated, fully vaccinated people can now engage in small outdoor events with a mix of those who aren’t vaccinated, without face coverings. Fully vaccinated people can also dine without a mask at an outdoor restaurant with others from different households.
“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’s guidance said. “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.”
The agency still urges fully vaccinated people to wear a mask while at outdoor events where the risk of COVID-19 is unclear, including concerts, sporting events, parades, and other crowded places.
“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 said.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky expressed hope that the new guidance would motivate more Americans to get fully vaccinated. “Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before,” she said. “If you are fully vaccinated, things are much safer for you than those who are not fully vaccinated.”
As of Monday, over 140 million Americans (42.5%) had received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 92.5 million Americans (28.9%) have been fully vaccinated, the CDC reports.