The CDC has released long-awaited guidelines for fully-vaccinated Americans that loosen some of the restrictions that many have been living under for the past year, including recommendations for how to socialize safely and whether vaccinated people are required to quarantine. Here’s what you need to know and what you can now safely do if you’ve had your shot (s).
Should Vaccinated People Still Wear a Mask?
Vaccinated people should still wear masks in public and when socializing with multiple groups of people. They should also maintain physical distancing and stay home when possible, according to the CDC. Vaccines are not 100% protective, and it’s also possible (although unlikely), for vaccinated people to pass the virus to others.
Can Vaccinated People See Friends Who Are Unvaccinated?
The CDC’s guidance today included exciting news for many vaccinated people: vaccinated people can socialize, indoors, with people who are low-risk for COVID-19 without masks. If they are socializing with multiple groups of people at once, they should still wear masks, or if they are around people who are high-risk for the virus and unvaccinated. After a year of isolation, people can now visit family members that they haven’t been able to see, especially grandparents, since many people over 65 are now vaccinated.
Vaccinated people can also visit with one another without masks, even if there are multiple parties present. “Indoor visits between fully vaccinated people who do not wear masks or physically distance from one another are likely low risk," says the guidance.
Should Vaccinated People Quarantine After Exposure?
Vaccinated people are no longer required to quarantine or be tested after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC. They should monitor themselves for symptoms, and if symptoms appear they should isolate themselves from others and get a test.
Not being required to quarantine will allow many vaccinated people to resume some activities for the first time since the virus first appeared in February 2020, since quarantine requirements made it impossible for many people to leave their homes.
Can Vaccinated People Travel?
Fully vaccinated people can safely travel within the U.S. without getting tested before or after their trip, according to the guidelines (unless their destination requires it, which some states do). Vaccinated people also don't need to quarantine following domestic travel.
The guidelines for international travel are slightly different. Fully vaccinated people don't need to get tested prior to their trip unless their destination requires it, but they will need to get tested within 3 days of their return flight in order to board the plane (as is required for all travelers entering the U.S.). It's recommended that vaccinated people who have traveled internationally get tested 3-5 days after their return to the U.S., but they don't need to quarantine.
The CDC's guidelines confirm that travel is safe for vaccinated Americans, which is welcome news for the travel industry and millions of vaccinated people who haven't left their homes in over a year.
Conclusion: Vaccines Are Allowing Americans to Return to Normalcy
Vaccinated Americans are safely able to return to some normal activities, including indoor dining, visiting friends, and even taking vacations with precautions. As vaccines continue to roll out throughout the U.S., millions of people are receiving their inoculations daily.
The CDC guidance today confirms that vaccinated people can enjoy new freedoms. If you’re curious who in your network has been vaccinated for the virus or want to see how the vaccine rollout is going, check out our new vaccine tracker and log in with Facebook.