CDC: Fully Vaccinated Americans Can Socialize Without Masks

Woman wearing Face Mask
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After getting fully vaccinated, one of the questions many people ask is “Do I still have to wear a mask?”

Yes, and no.

Almost 29 million Americans have received both doses of the COVID vaccine. The CDC just released new guidelines for those that have been fully vaccinated. They still want individuals to remain cautious until more Americans have been fully vaccinated, but Americans who have received the full COVID-19 vaccine can gather with vaccinated grandparents, family and friends indoors without wearing masks or keeping their distance,as long as everyone in that small group has been fully vaccinated and doesn’t have any high risk medical conditions.

But that doesn’t mean you can gather in large groups or go out in public or travel without a mask. Other than small groups of people that have all been fully vaccinated, everyone should still stick to the same guidelines, masks in public and large groups and social distancing practices.

It can get tricky in a group where some individuals are vaccinated and some aren’t, the CDC says it is low risk for vaccinated individuals to gather with unvaccinated individuals indoors without masks and social distancing, as long as the people who aren’t vaccinated are at low risk of severe disease and no one in their household is at high risk. For example, grandma and grandpa have both been fully vaccinated, but their daughter and grandkids have not, as long as the daughter and her family are not at risk for severe disease, grandma and grandpa (both fully vaccinated) don’t have to wear a mask when visiting.

The new guidance also says that vaccinated individuals don’t need to quarantine or get tested if they come in contact with someone positive for COVID-19 and don’t have any symptoms.

But in public, even people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine should continue to wear masks and maintain distance when in public, visiting with people at severe risk for COVID-19 disease who have not been vaccinated, or when socializing with groups of unvaccinated people from multiple households, even if they are at low risk of disease.

Here are the CDC’s full guidelines.