CDC Interim Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

CDC has released updated interim public health recommendations for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The information below is an excerpt from the CDC’s updated recommendations on April 27, 2021. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, please always check the CDC’s website for the most up to date information.

For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 at least 2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or at least 2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen).

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions in indoor public settings like wearing a well-fitted mask
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid indoor large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky discusses CDC’s updated recommendations for fully vaccinated people. See below for a transcript of the video.

Video Transcript

“There are many situations where fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask particularly if they are outdoors as shown by the graphic on the right. If you are fully vaccinated and want to attend a small outdoor gathering with people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated or dining at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households. The science shows if you are vaccinated you can do so safely unmasked. On the CDC website we have posted examples of numerous outdoor activities that are safe to do without a mask if you are fully vaccinated.

Generally for vaccinated people outdoor activities without a mask are safe however we continue to recommend masking in crowded outdoor settings and venues such as packed stadiums and concerts where there is decreased ability to maintain physical distance and where many unvaccinated people may also be present. We will continue to recommend this until widespread vaccination is achieved.  

Now let’s talk about what you can do indoors. Here again we have unvaccinated people and their risk on the left where nothing has changed. Risk is indicated and masking is required. We then show the markedly decreased risk for vaccinated people on the right given what we know about COVID-19 vaccines and their efficacy. It is also safe for those who are fully vaccinated to return to the activities they love doing inside while wearing a mask.

The guiding principles we release today and the illustrative examples compare the safety of several activities if you are vaccinated or not and the difference is clear as we gather more and more data on the real world efficacy of vaccines. We know that masked fully vaccinated people can safely attend worship services inside go to an indoor restaurant or bar and even participate in an indoor exercise class. Although these vaccines are extremely effective we know that the virus spreads very well indoors until more people are vaccinated and while we still have more than 50,000 cases a day, mask use indoors will provide extra protection. The examples today show that when you are fully vaccinated you can return to many activities safely and most of them outdoors and unmasked, and begin to get back to normal. The more people who are vaccinated, the more steps we can take towards spending time with people we love doing the things we love to enjoy.”

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