The United States Centres for Disease Control says people who have been fully vaccinated can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
In the new guidance released on Monday, CDC said those who are fully vaccinated can also gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
The national public health institute in the United States added that fully vaccinated people who have been around someone who has COVID-19 do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless they have symptoms.
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“However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms,” it said.
Nevertheless, it warned that fully-vaccinated people should still take steps to protect themselves and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least six feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
“Take these precautions whenever you are in public, gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household, visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk.
“You should still avoid medium or large-sized gatherings. You should still delay domestic and international travel. If you do travel, you’ll still need to follow CDC requirements and recommendations.
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“You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick.
“If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others. You will still need to follow the guidance at your workplace,” the agency warned.
CDC added that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
“We’re still learning how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.
“We know that other prevention steps help stop the spread of COVID-19 and that these steps are still important, even as vaccines are being distributed.
“We’re still learning how well COVID-19 vaccines keep people from spreading the disease. Early data show that the vaccines may help keep people from spreading COVID-19, but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated.
“We’re still learning how long COVID-19 vaccines can protect people. As we know more, CDC will continue to update our recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people,” it said.