Americans who have fully gotten the COVID-19 vaccine no longer need to wear masks outdoors except in crowded areas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday (April 27). The news arrived along with the agency’s updated COVID-19 prevention guidelines as more and more Americans are getting vaccinated against the disease.
Due to the growing number of vaccinated Americans, the CDC added that even unvaccinated people can stop wearing masks while walking, jogging or biking outside with other people in their household. However, both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals should remain cautious in crowded outdoor settings and still wear a face covering while attending sporting events, outdoor concerts or parades, it warned.
“Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time telling Americans what they cannot do, what they should not do,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday. “Today, I’m going to tell you some of the things you can do if you are fully vaccinated.”
According to The Washington Post, over 52 percent of eligible Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Though it’s still possible to contract COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine, research has shown that fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to suffer COVID-19 symptoms or transfer the virus to others.
According to the CDC, it typically takes a few weeks after receiving both vaccine doses for the body to build up an immunity against the disease.
“The examples today show that when you are fully vaccinated, you can return to many activities safely… and begin to get back to normal,” Walensky added. “And the more people who are vaccinated, the more steps we can take towards spending time with people we love [and] doing the things we love to enjoy. I hope this message is encouraging for you. It shows just how powerful these vaccines are.”