The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says if you are fully vaccinated and two weeks past the last required COVID-19 vaccine dose, you don’t need to wear masks indoors or outside, and you don’t need to maintain physical distance. Could things be returning to normal? Here is what health experts have to say.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
The new guidelines do not apply to health care settings, correctional facilities, or homeless shelters. People will also need to cater to local business and workplace guidances. Masks are likely to continue to be required in private businesses.
In addition, the CDC has emphasized that fully vaccinated people should still wear well-fitted masks where required by-laws, rules, and regulations, including on airplanes, trains, and public transportation.
Pros and Cons
The announcement puts pressure on businesses and local governments. There is no way to know who is vaccinated and who is not, and the idea of some kind of “vaccine passport” or digital identifier has become a partisan flashpoint which Republicans are against.
States across the country have been easing restrictions and reopening businesses as local vaccination rates increase, despite the CDC and federal health officials who continued to urge caution.