CDC says groups of fully-vaccinated people can gather without masks, still recommends against travel
The CDC also says that small groups of vaccinated people can safely gather indoors with unvaccinated people — as long as those unvaccinated people do not have pre-existing conditions that would put them at elevated risk for the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Monday released highly anticipated guidance on practices considered safe for those who are fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, relating to gatherings, quarantine and testing. Of note, the federal health agency said that those who are fully vaccinated can spend time with unvaccinated people indoors, with no mask, so long as those who are unvaccinated are at low-risk for severe COVID-19.
“As vaccinations increase, this guidance represents a first step toward returning to everyday activities in our communities, and CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, rates of COVID-19 in the community change, and as additional science and evidence become available,” the CDC said in a press release regarding the guidance.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the federal health agency, also announced the guidelines at a White House press conference on Monday morning.
According to data compiled by the CDC, 9.2% of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated, and 17.7% have received at least one dose.
Two weeks after the second dose, or the single-dose for those receiving a vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, fully vaccinated persons can safely gather inside with other fully vaccinated people without wearing face masks or physical distancing, the CDC said, calling these indoor gatherings “likely low risk.”
The CDC also says that small groups of vaccinated people can safely gather indoors with unvaccinated people — as long as those unvaccinated people do not have pre-existing conditions that would put them at elevated risk for the virus. In order to visit with those unvaccinated people at elevated risk, the CDC says people should wear masks and physically distance.
The CDC kept most of its recommendations in place. It still advises that Americans avoid travel, avoid large gatherings and wear masks while in public.
While COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be extremely safe and effective, none have proven to be 100% effective in preventing disease. And while the vaccines have been extremely effective in preventing severe illness, it’s still not clear how those who have been vaccinated spread the virus.
Health experts have been warning that even fully vaccinated people should still wear a mask and social distance when possible to protect others and themselves.