People who are fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus don’t need to wear face masks when walking, hiking, biking, running alone or gathering in small groups outside, federal health officials said, taking a major step to ease pandemic guidance while encouraging more people to get shots.
The same applies to conducting those forms of exercise with household members, dining at restaurants outside and to small outdoor gatherings that include some unvaccinated people, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.
Yet vaccinated people should still wear masks in public settings indoors and outdoors where there is a substantial risk of Covid-19 transmission, such as concerts, sporting events and other crowded gatherings, the CDC said.
The fully vaccinated should wear masks at indoor gatherings with unvaccinated people, visits to a barber, hair salon, shopping mall, museum, movie theater or crowded house of worship. Vaccinated people should also wear masks if singing in an indoor chorus, the CDC said.
The new guidelines are the latest easing restrictions for vaccinated people. They follow mounting scientific evidence indicating the risk of infection is low outdoors, especially among people who are vaccinated. The risk of Covid-19 transmission by vaccinated people is low, evidence shows.
Federal health officials said they hope the revisions will help persuade millions of people who are reluctant or otherwise haven’t been inoculated to get the shot amid a recent decline in demand.