The instructions are relaxed. People vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer need to wear a mask when they are outdoors, except when they are in crowds, US health officials said on Tuesday. An update that comes when 37% of the adult population is fully vaccinated.
“If you are fully vaccinated and want to participate in a small gathering with people who are vaccinated and not vaccinated (..) scientific data shows (…) you can do it safely, without a mask,” said Rochelle Walensky the director of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the main federal public health agency.
“On the other hand, we continue to recommend the wearing of the mask in places outside very frequented, like full stadiums or concerts”, she added during a press briefing.
She justified this by the fact that in these situations, many unvaccinated people, and potentially at risk of developing a severe form of Covid-19, may be present. “Today is another day when we can take a step to return to the normal state of things”, before the coronavirus, she welcomed.
More than half of adults have received at least one dose
In addition, the CDC now estimates that unvaccinated people can also walk, run or cycle with members of their household, or participate in “small gatherings” outdoors with vaccinated people, without wearing a mask. However, they should always cover their face if unvaccinated people are present.
A person is considered vaccinated two weeks after the injection of the vaccine (the second dose for those given in two injections), recalled the official.
Health authorities have updated their recommendations based on these announcements. In the United States, the rules vary from state to state, and some had strict rules in place requiring the wearing of masks everywhere outside the home, even without anyone around. These states should now change these obligations, even if they are not absolutely required to do so.
According to CDC data, 54% of the adult US population, or more than 140 million people, have received at least one dose and 37% are fully vaccinated.