Here in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says masks and social distancing are no longer required in most social settings for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Thursday’s recommendations were driven by scientific evidence that vaccinated people are at very low risk of severe COVID and that vaccines play a major role in curbing transmission.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky: “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
The CDC says rules requiring masks on public transportation still apply and that people should still mask up in crowded indoor situations. Individual businesses are free to continue masking policies. The CDC’s announcement reportedly caught even White House officials by surprise. About half of states — most of them with Republican governors — have already lifted mask mandates. California Governor Gavin Newsom says he’ll lift a mask mandate in June, while a Michigan order mandating masks in many cases will remain in effect for now.