New CDC Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Source: CDC
  • New CDC guidelines allow fully vaccinated individuals to unmask in outdoor gatherings.
  • Certain crowded places such as the mall, movie theatres, and concerts still require the use of masks.
  • The guidelines also list down safe activities for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals; classified as ‘red’, ‘yellow’, and ‘green’.

On Tuesday, 27th April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines on outdoor mask use for fully vaccinated individuals. This is an update to CDC’s March guideline which allowed fully vaccinated individuals to meet each other without masks in indoor settings.

The release of these new guidelines is a first step at helping fully vaccinated Americans resume activities they had stopped doing because of the pandemic, while being mindful of the potential risk of transmitting the virus to others


According to a Reuters analysis, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the US have dropped by 16% over the last week. Moreover, more than half of the country’s adult population has received at least one dose of the authorized vaccines. Although the exact risks are unclear, studies suggest that the risk of vaccinated individuals spreading infection is extremely low. The updated guidelines hope to return some form of normalcy to the lives of those who have completed their vaccination. The CDC has also classified various outdoor and indoor activities for vaccinated people; labelled as ‘red’, ‘yellow’, or ‘green’ based on safety levels.

Source: CDC

Fully Vaccinated Individuals Told to Unmask by CDC

The CDC defines a fully vaccinated person: two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, such as Moderna or Pfizer. Or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

As per the new guidelines, fully vaccinated individuals can meet people in indoor settings, irrespective of their vaccination status, without a mask or social distancing. Considering that the unvaccinated individual is at low risk of severe infection and is from one household. Moreover, they can unmask while attending small outdoor gatherings, and dining at outdoor restaurants with friends from multiple households.

However, in certain outdoor events such as sports events or live performances, the use of masks is still recommended. Additionally, indoor places such as hair salons, theatres, and malls also require the wearing of a mask.

The message is clear. You’re vaccinated, guess what, you get to return to a more normal lifestyle. If you’re not vaccinated, you’re still a danger. You’re still in danger as well. So get vaccinated.

US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra

Certain recommendations remain the same. For example, using public transport requires the use of masks. Moreover, fully vaccinated international travellers arriving in the US require a negative test result 3-5 days before their arrival. Additionally, contact with a COVID-positive person does not warrant self-quarantine or testing. Unless you develop signs and symptoms of infection.

The CDC hopes to update these recommendations further as they collect more and more information on vaccines. The complete set of guidelines are available here.


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