CDC Changes Mask Guidance to Allow Mask-Free Outdoor Activities

vaccine Apr 27, 2021

The CDC announced major changes to the U.S.’ mask policy today, rolling back mask recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Here’s the latest.

When Can Unvaccinated People Go Maskless?

Unvaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask if they’re doing outdoor activities like hiking, biking or walking alone or with members of  their household, according to the latest guidance.

They also don’t need to wear a mask around only vaccinated people, as long as they are not in a crowded area. In most other settings, they should wear a mask.

When Should Unvaccinated People Wear a Mask?

The CDC still recommends that unvaccinated people wear masks for outdoor or indoor gatherings where both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are present, eating at restaurants, and in indoor public settings like the grocery store or public transit. Double-masking can keep unvaccinated people safer and guard against variants.

The CDC recommends that unvaccinated people avoid large gatherings of any  kind (indoor or outdoor), travel, and large events. It’s safest for unvaccinated people to stay home as much as possible,

When Can Vaccinated People Go Maskless?

Vaccinated people don't need to wear a mask in most outdoor situations. Here are situations where vaccinated people can go maskless:

-Exercising outside in an uncrowded area

-Gathering outside with family and friends (whether they are vaccinated or not)

-Visiting one unvaccinated household

-Eating at outdoor restaurants

When Should Vaccinated People Wear a Mask?

Vaccinated people still need to wear a mask in certain situations, according to the CDC. Here are situations when you  should still wear a mask even after vaccination, according to the CDC:

-Indoor, public settings like grocery stores or public transportation

-Indoor appointments, like a doctor’s appointment or salon appointment

-Indoor restaurants

-Indoor gatherings with unvaccinated people from more than one household

-Indoor gatherings with high-risk, unvaccinated people

-Crowded outdoor areas

The CDC is still recommending that vaccinated people avoid large gatherings, and vaccinated people still need to get tested for COVID-19 to enter the Untied States from abroad.

Conclusion: More Activities Are Becoming Available to Americans

As the vaccine rollout continues,  more and more activities like gathering with friends and family, traveling, and even getting a haircut are possible. Some activities are even safe without a mask for vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

If you are looking for a vaccine appointment, we have a guide with tips and tricks for finding one.  If you want to see who in your social circle has been vaccinated, you can use our vaccine social tracker. Don't forget to turn on push notifications for the Skip Blog, so you can see the latest stimulus and vaccine news.

More Vaccine Info

📌 Hawaii is developing a vaccine passport program for fully-vaccinated travelers.

📌 Small business owners can get a tax credit for offering paid time off for their employees to get vaccinated

📌 More countries are opening up for vaccinated American travelers.

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