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What activities CDC says are (and aren't) safe without masks for fully vaccinated

The changes come as more than half of U.S. adults have gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and more than a third have been fully vaccinated.

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that Americans who are fully vaccinated can start doing many things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic. 

As part of Tuesday's updated guidance, U.S. health officials said fully vaccinated Americans don't need to wear masks outdoors anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers, and those who are unvaccinated can go without a face covering outside in some cases, too.

The CDC's updated guidance comes as more than half of U.S. adults have gotten at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and more than a third have been fully vaccinated.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed over 570,000 people in U.S.

For most of the past year, the CDC had been advising Americans to wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of each other.

The CDC guidance says that fully vaccinated or not, people do not have to wear masks outdoors when they walk, bike or run alone or with members of their household. They also can go maskless in small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people.

But from there, the CDC has differing mask guidance for people who are fully vaccinated and those who are not.

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What you can do if you are vaccinated: 

Outdoors without mask (Fully vaccinated)

  • Walk, run, or bike outdoors with members of your household
  • Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends 
  • Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people 
  • Dine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households

Outdoors with mask (Fully vaccinated)

  • Attend a crowded, outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports event

Indoors with mask (Fully vaccinated) 

  • Visit a barber or hair salon
  • Go to an uncrowded, indoor shopping center or museum
  • Ride public transport with limited occupancy
  • Attend a small, indoor gathering of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Go to an indoor movie theater
  • Attend a full-capacity worship service
  • Sing in an indoor chorus
  • Eat at an indoor restaurant or bar
  • Participate in an indoor, high intensity exercise class

When unvaccinated people can skip masks

Unvaccinated people is defined by the CDC as those who have yet to receive both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson formula — should wear masks at outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people. They also should keep using masks at outdoor restaurants.

Credit: CDC
This CDC illustration shows when fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people need to wear masks during outdoor activities.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.