As India cautions people to wear masks even at home behind closed doors, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidelines, saying people who have been fully vaccinated in the country can stop wearing masks during many outdoor and indoor activities.
Nearly 40 per cent of adults in the US are now fully vaccinated.
People who are fully vaccinated don’t need masks when exercising alone outside, or when gathering outside with both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
In the outdoor activities allowed, “walk, run, or bike outdoors with members of your household; attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends; dine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households,” said the new guidelines released late on Tuesday.
In the indoor activities allowed, the fully vaccinated people can “visit a barber or hair salon; go to an uncrowded, indoor shopping center or museum; ride public transport with limited occupancy; go to an indoor movie theatre; attend a full-capacity worship service; sing in an indoor chorus; eat at an indoor restaurant or bar; participate in an indoor and high intensity exercise class”.
But they should keep wearing masks at crowded, outdoor events like a sports game.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” the CDC said.
“When choosing safer activities, consider how COVID-19 is spreading in your community, the number of people participating in the activity, and the location of the activity. Outdoor visits and activities are safer than indoor activities, and fully vaccinated people can participate in some indoor events safely, without much risk,” it informed.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement that “people will use this information to take personal responsibility to protect themselves and to protect others”.