On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci echoed the CDC’s recent guidance update and suggested that vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear a mask outdoors.
In an interview on CBS This Morning, Fauci said that vaccinated people should start to “make that transition” to only wearing masks indoors and in crowds. “If you are vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask outside,” he said. “It would be a very unusual situation, if you were going into a completely crowded situation where people are essentially falling all over each other, then you wear a mask. But any other time, if you’re vaccinated and you’re outside, put aside your mask. You don’t have to wear it.”
His comments come over two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance on masks in late April. Fully vaccinated people can “gather or conduct activities outdoors” without wearing a mask except in “certain crowded settings and venues,” the guidance reads. If someone is to go to a concert, whether that be indoors or outdoors, the usage of a mask is still recommended even if vaccinated.
It’s worth pointing out, you’re only considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-shot vaccine, or two weeks after a single-shot vaccine. So if you’re still waiting on your second shot, or only recently got fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends wearing a mask.
Also on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will reportedly ease indoor mask-wearing guidance for people who are fully vaccinated, the Associated Press reports. It will reportedly still require people to wear masks in crowded indoor places, but could make exceptions for places like workplaces and schools.
Last week, Fauci said that he believes the United States will be “about as close to back to normal as we can” by next year. “We’ve got to make sure that we get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated,” he added. “When that happens, the virus doesn’t really have any place to go.”