Fully-vaccinated Americans can gather without wearing masks, as the new guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced.
Under the new guidelines, those who have received the jabs can visit others, including some unvaccinated people.
To date, health authorities in the United States have administered the required doses of each vaccine to more than 30 million citizens, meaning that Americans could return to a sense of normalcy.
According to the CDC, people are considered protected two weeks after receiving the last dose of the vaccine.
US health officials announced the new safety guidelines Monday at a White House COVID-19 task force briefing. Senior Advisor Andy Slavitt told reporters: “We’ve begun to describe what a world looks like as we move beyond Covid-19.”
“As more and more people get vaccinated… the list of activities will continue to grow,” he said.
According to the new guidance, Americans who have been fully vaccinated can gather indoors with other people who also receive the final dose without masks or social distancing.
They can also meet indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household if they are at low risk for serious illness.
Besides, the recommendations say that fully vaccinated people can skip testing or quarantine when exposed to the virus unless symptoms appear. However, they still have to comply with basic security measures.
The CDC says that those who have received the shot should wear masks, socially distance in public, and avoid large crowds or travel.
The recommendations also prompt people who are not vaccinated and may be at high risk of serious complications related to COVID-19 to maintain masking and social distancing.
Authorities in the United States have increased the number of daily shots.
The authorization of the vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson has also helped optimize the vaccination program. Nonetheless, health officials warned that the virus remains a serious concern.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said: “Over 90% of the population still has not been vaccinated.”
Dr. Walensky added that they would continue to update the guidance “as more people get vaccinated and science and evidence expands.”
To date, the US has logged 29 million coronavirus cases and 525,000 deaths.