FULLY vaccinated Americans can go outside without wearing masks, but it is still risky to gather in outdoor groups, the CDC has said.
The updated health advice comes as more than half of all adults in the United States have now received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fully vaccinated Americans can go outside masklessCredit: Reuters
“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,” the CDC said.
The move was confirmed by President Joe Biden at a White House press conference, saying the new advice was a direct result of steps the country had taken to fight the coronavirus.
He said: “We’ve made stunning progress because of all of you.
“While we still have a long way to go in this fight, a lot of work to do in May and June to get us to July 4, we’ve made stunning progress because of all of you, the American people.”
Covid-19 cases are “down dramatically”, he said as were deaths among senior citizens which have dropped by 80 per cent, as vaccinations have increased.
We’ve made stunning progress because of all of you, the American people
President Joe Biden
But Biden urged Americans who had not had vaccne to go get one.
He said: “Go get the shot, it’s never been easier.
“Once you are fully vaccinated you can do without a mask if you are away from big crowds.
“I would like to thank everyone who has got the vaccination and done their patriotic duty and helping us get a path to independence day which I will be discussing more next week.”
He also confirmed the United States still expects to send vaccines to India and other countries amid ongoing discussions over how soon doses could be shipped out even as it sends therapeutics and other equipment to India amid a surge in cases there.
He said: “I think we’ll be in a position to be able to share, share vaccines as well as know-how with other countries who are in real need.
“That’s the hope and expectation,” he told reporters after remarks on coronavirus at the White House.”
Joe Biden takes off his mask to address reporters about the progressCredit: Reuters
The President then urged unvaccinated Americans to be ‘patriotic’ and get their jabsCredit: Reuters
Wearing face masks has been considered by experts as one of the most effective ways of controlling virus transmission.
With most COVID-19 transmission occurring indoors, and vaccinations on the rise, the use of masks outdoors has been under public debate for weeks in the United States as Americans look to enjoy the benefits of being fully vaccinated.
New Covid-19 cases have dropped 16 percent in the last week as the US surpassed 140million people who have received at least one shot of authorized vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine.
At least 140million Americans have received their first shotCredit: AFP via Getty
This was the biggest percentage drop in weekly new cases since February, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.
The agency said fully vaccinated Americans can safely dine outdoors with friends from multiple households at restaurants and attend small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
CDC continues to recommend masking for crowded outdoor events such as parades and sporting events and indoor visits to the hair salon, shopping malls, movie theaters and houses of worship.
The agency classified activities as “red,” “yellow” and “green” based on the level of safety for unvaccinated people.
It said unvaccinated people can also walk and run unmasked with household members outdoors safely and attend small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends.
Data on whether vaccinated people can spread the infection to those who did not receive their shots is limited and the CDC warned that people should evaluate the risk to friends and family before going out without masks.
This is an update to the CDC’s guidance, which in March said people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can meet without masks indoors in small groups with others who also have been inoculated.