CDC Says Fully Vaccinated People Can Socialise Indoors Unmasked, With a Few Exceptions

CDC Says Fully Vaccinated People Can Socialise Indoors Unmasked, With a Few Exceptions
People lining up for covid-19 vaccinations at Nassau Community College on January 10, 2021 in Garden City, New York. (Photo: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images)

The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have come out with new guidelines for people who are vaccinated against covid-19. Chief among them is the reassurance that fully vaccinated people can safely spend time indoors unmasked with other vaccinated people and even unvaccinated people in certain situations. It still calls for these people to practice some caution while in public and around those who are at high risk of serious illness from the viral disease.

People are considered fully vaccinated against covid-19 starting two weeks after receiving their last scheduled dose of a covid-19 vaccine. For those who get the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech, that means two doses, taken a month apart, while those who get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only require one dose. The new CDC guidelines, released Monday, centre around what’s safe for fully vaccinated people to do now.

They state that fully vaccinated people can socialise with other fully vaccinated people in small gatherings indoors without needing to wear masks or stay six feet apart. They can also visit unvaccinated people in a single household without protection if the other people are considered at low risk for serious illness. And they won’t need to adhere to quarantine and testing if they come into contact with people who develop covid-19, so long as they stay symptom-free.

“We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky in a statement released today.

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Once more of the population becomes vaccinated and the spread of the pandemic drops to minimal levels, it’ll be safe to socialise in large gatherings and do all the things we used to do. But for now, we just need to hold on a bit longer.

“Everyone — even those who are vaccinated — should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings,” Walensky said. “As the science evolves and more people get vaccinated, we will continue to provide more guidance to help fully vaccinated people safely resume more activities.”