CDC Issues New Guidelines for Wearing Masks Outdoors

Fully vaccinated can skip them unless they're in a crowd
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 27, 2021 11:31 AM CDT
CDC: Vaccinated Can Mostly Skip Masks When Outside
A woman wearing a protective mask walks in a park in Madrid, Spain.   (AP Photo/Paul White)

New guidance from the CDC: Fully vaccinated Americans don't need to wear masks outdoors unless they are in a big crowd of strangers, and those who are unvaccinated can go without a face covering outside in some cases, too, per the AP. The CDC released the updated guidance Tuesday in yet another carefully calibrated step on the road back to normal from the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 570,000 people in US. For most of the past year, the CDC had been advising Americans to wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of each other. Now:

  • The CDC guidance says that fully vaccinated or not, people do not have to wear masks outdoors when they walk, bike, or run alone or with members of their household. They also can go maskless in small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people.
  • Unvaccinated people—defined by the CDC as those who have yet to receive both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson formula—should wear masks at outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people. They also should keep using masks at outdoor restaurants.
  • Fully vaccinated people do not need to cover up in those situations.
  • However, everyone should keep wearing masks at crowded outdoor events such as concerts or sporting events, the CDC says.
  • The agency continues to recommend masks at indoor public places, such as hair salons, restaurants, shopping centers, museums, and movie theaters.
(More COVID-19 stories.)

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