The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday that people that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear face masks or practice distancing indoors or outdoors, except under specific circumstances.
The new guidance, however, will still require that people wear masks in crowded indoor areas.
Additional guidelines for the cruise industry are also expected to be released shortly, according to industry sources.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky director of the CDC, during a briefing at the White House on Thursday.
The CDC said on its website: “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
For traveling the CDC said people are still required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Cruise ships were not mentioned.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” added Walensky. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”