WASHINGTON D.C. – The CDC announced that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay six feet from others in most settings, indoors and outdoors.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walesky said that there are still a handful of instances where people will still need to wear masks including in a health-care setting or in a business that requires them and fully vaccinated people will still need to wear masks on public transportation.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” she said. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
While Walensky said that unvaccinated people should still wear their masks, people with compromised immune systems should speak to their doctors.
“This is an exciting and powerful moment,” she said. “It could only happen because of the work of so many who made sure we have the rapid administration of three safe and effective vaccines.”
As of Wednesday, more than 151 million Americans over 18, or 58.7 percent of the U.S. adult population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC and roughly 116 million, or 45.1 percent are fully vaccinated.
U.S. health officials stressed that the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, pointing to several studies, including one out of Israel that found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 97 percent successful in preventing symptomatic infections in fully vaccinated people.