May 13, 2021 — People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear masks or physically distance, regardless of location or size of the gathering, the CDC announced today.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said at a press briefing Thursday. “We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.
“This is an exciting and powerful moment,” she added, “It could only happen because of the work from so many who made sure we had the rapid administration of three safe and effective vaccines.”
Walensky cited three large studies on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against the original virus and its variants. One study from Israel found the vaccine to be 97% effective against symptomatic infection.
Those who are symptomatic should still wear masks, Walensky said, and those who are immunocompromised should talk to their doctors for further guidance. The CDC still advises travelers to wear masks while on airplanes or trains.
The COVID-19 death rates are now the lowest they have been since April 2020.
This is a breaking news story. Please return for updates.