The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now advising that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can gather indoors with others who have the jab — without masks or social distancing.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the CDC, said Monday that fully-vaccinated people can follow the looser guidelines about two weeks after their final shot.
“CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people in small gatherings indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing,” Walensky said at a White House press conference.
“So what does this mean if you have a friend, or you and a family member are both vaccinated, you can have dinner together, wearing masks, without distancing. You can visit your grandparents if you have been vaccinated and they have been too,” she said.
Those who are vaccinated can also get together with one other household that hasn’t received the shot — as long as those without protection are not at high-risk for the coronavirus, Walensky said.
“If grandparents have been vaccinated, they can visit their daughter and her family even if they have not been vaccinated, so long as the daughter and her family are not at risk for severe disease,” Walensky said.
If vaccinated people are exposed to the virus, they don’t need to quarantine or get a COVID-19 test as long as they’re asymptomatic, Walensky said.
Walensky, however, said the CDC has not changed its recommendations to encourage nonessential travel for vaccinated people.
“We know that many of our variants have emerged from international places and we know that the travel corridor is a place where people are mixing a lot,” Walensky said.
“We are really trying to restrain travel at this current period of time, and we’re hopeful that our next set of guidance, will have more science around what vaccinated people can do — perhaps to travel — being among them.”
She said the guidance will be updated as more data becomes available about the risks posed by vaccinated people.
“Today’s action represents an important first step. It is not our final destination,” Walensky said.