The Center For Disease Control (CDC) has issued new guidance that states fully vaccinated people in the United States no longer have to wear a mask outdoors or indoors and do not have to practice social distancing.
Travelers should be aware that masks are still required on busses and planes.
The announcement by federal public health officials is one of the most significant relaxation of Covid-19 measures since the pandemic began.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
“We have all longed for this moment – when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,”
The news paves the way for a full reopening of society in the United States as the country has now vaccinated 35.8 percent of the population. 56 percent of the population has received at least one dose.
While the federal guidance on the wearing of face masks has been lifted for fully vaccinated people, individual states, counties and cities may still enforce the use of face masks for everyone. Each business can also choose if they require face masks within their stores.
CDC Says Travel Is Safe For Fully Vaccinated People
In April, the CDC said fully vaccinated people can travel safely within the U.S. and internationally without the need for testing or quarantines. While the CDC says its safe to travel, they have yet to drop the required Antigen covid-19 test for incoming vaccinated travelers. That means fully vaccinated Americans that go on vacation abroad must still present proof of a negative Covid-19 test no older than 72 hours upon returning home. The same rule applies for all foreigners arriving in the U.S.
What If Vaccinated People Spread The Virus?
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated that new evidence from the U.S. and Israel shows that the vaccines are as strongly protective in real world use as they were in earlier studies.
While some people still get COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, Walensky said, that it’s rare and cited evidence that those infections tend to be milder, shorter and do not spread to others easily.
The CDC director urged those who are immune-compromised to speak with their doctors first before not wearing a mask, and said that those who are not vaccinated remain at risk for mild or severe illness and death and should still wear masks.
“The science is … very clear about unvaccinated people,” she said. “You remain at risk of mild or severe illness or death or spreading the disease to others. You should still mask up and you should get vaccinated right away.”
Stark Contrast North Of The Border
While the U.S. continues to focus on fully reopening the country and returning to normal, north of the border in Canada, its a completely different story.
The Canadian government has left all rules and restrictions in place for every Canadian including those who have been fully vaccinated. Canadians are required to wear masks indoors and outdoors and in many parts of the country, only essential businesses are operating.
Movement restrictions including lockdowns, school closures, police checkpoints and all gatherings in most of the country have been banned. Police are handing out heavy fines for those violating the rules.
Canadians returning home including those who have been vaccinated face government mandated hotel quarantines, home quarantine and a minimum of at least 3 PCR Covid-19 tests.
While the U.S. has fully vaccinated 35.8% of their population, the Canadian government is reporting that only 2.68% of the population is fully vaccinated, however 31% have received their first shot.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Canadians will “shortly” receive federal guidance around what they can, and can’t do safely after their first and second COVID-19 shots.
We will have guidance out for Canadians very shortly about what they can do with one dose or two doses of the vaccine,” said Hajdu in an interview with CTV.
There have been no announcements whether the new guidance will include a relaxation of restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians returning home from abroad.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories