Vaccinated Americans can now breathe a big, deep sigh of relief.
People who have had all their COVID-19 shots can now go outside without wearing a mask unless they’re in large gatherings, the CDC said in updated guidance Tuesday.
Those who have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna immunizations — or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine — can be outdoors without a face-covering when walking, running or biking alone or with members of their household, the agency said.
They can also be mask-free for small outdoor get-togethers — even if others attendees are not vaccinated, the agency’s chief, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said at a White House press briefing.
But even those who are fully vaccinated should still wear masks in large outdoor gatherings — like a live performance or a sporting event — where social distancing can be an issue, the agency said.
During small indoor gatherings, those who are fully vaccinated can also be mask-free so long as no one else in the group is at a high risk for the virus, the CDC says.
“There are many situations where fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks, particularly if they are outdoors,’’ Walensky said.
“Generally, for vaccinated people, outdoor activities without a mask are safe. However, we continue to recommend masking in crowded outdoor settings and venues such as packed stadiums and concerts.”
She said the risk of transmission goes up 20-fold from outdoor to indoor.
Even fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks in places such as indoor malls, the CDC said.