This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks outdoors unless in crowded settings and venues.
The new guidance is another leap to the road back to normal from the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 570,000 people in U.S.
“Today’s announcement by the CDC is an accomplishment we all share thanks to those of us who already made the choice to get vaccinated. As more people get vaccinated, the CDC will continue loosening its guidance on who needs to wear a mask and when they should be used.,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “The City of Houston will require people to continue to wear face masks inside municipal buildings like City Hall and the George R. Brown Convention Center.
For most of the past year, the CDC had been advising Americans to wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of one another.
Fully vaccinated people can now unmask at small outdoor gatherings, or when dining outside with friends from multiple households. The CDC is telling unvaccinated people that they still need to wear a mask at such gatherings. The CDC advises both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to still wear masks in indoor public spaces, such as a mall, movie theater or museum.
The federal health agency says even if you’ve been vaccinated, you should avoid large indoor gatherings. The CDC did not define how many people would be in a large gathering, but the agency’s website describes “large gatherings” as bringing together “many people from multiple households in a private or public space.”
For the fully vaccinated who do choose to attend a crowded outdoor event, such as a live performance, parade, or sporting event, wearing a mask is recommended.
“To continue moving toward the end of the pandemic, and to respect our shared sacrifices during the past year, I strongly recommend everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Houston Health Department-affiliated vaccination sites are now available with or without appointments. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is safe, free, and key to getting our lives back to normal,” Turner said.