CDC: You Can Skip the Mask When Doing These Things After Vaccination

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Woman removing her mask
Daria Photostock /

“Toss the mask.” Is there a more beautiful phrase in the English language?

Unfortunately, we remain a long way from being able to permanently consign our cloth and paper masks to the dust bin of history.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are some circumstances in which people who are fully vaccinated can return to life without a face covering — and to skip the social distancing as well.

After full vaccination, you may do the following without wearing a mask or physically distancing yourself from others, even indoors:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people.
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease.

Additionally, if you have a known exposure to the coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, but are asymptomatic, you can skip quarantining and testing.

These rules apply once you are fully vaccinated. That means two weeks or more after you have received the second dose of a two-dose series (such as with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine) or two weeks or more after you receive a single-dose vaccine (such as that of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).

The CDC still asks you to wear a mask and to maintain social distancing in health care settings, regardless of your vaccination status.

Also, in all other public settings, you should continue to wear a mask and to practice social distancing.

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, you should be tested for infection, even if you have been vaccinated.

All of this is good news for people hoping for some return to normalcy. At a Monday press conference, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said:

“With more and more people getting vaccinated, each day we are starting to turn a corner, and as more Americans are vaccinated, a growing body of evidence now tells us that there are some activities that fully vaccinated people can resume at low risk to themselves.”

For more about the COVID-19 vaccination, check out:

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