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The CDC Is Easing Its Mask Recommendations for Vaccinated Americans

Get your picnic blankets ready! As the vaccine brings us closer to herd immunity, more activities can be considered safe, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The latest CDC recommendation is that “fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks outdoors when walking, jogging or biking, or dining with friends at outdoor restaurants,” according to the Washington Post. As a reminder, “fully vaccinated” means you have received both shots of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and waited two weeks for your body to build up antibodies.

Because the weather is getting warmer and studies have shown the coronavirus to be less transmissible in open-air settings, the new recommendations say that “even unvaccinated individuals may go without masks when walking, jogging or biking outdoors with household members.” With household members being an important clause here.

Masks should still be warn at “crowded” outdoor events, like concerts, parades, sports games or theme parks, whether you’re vaccinated or not. (See the full guidelines, including a color-coded chart, here.) As of this writing, a reported 52 percent of eligible Americans have received at least one vaccine shot.

Naturally, people had a lot to say about this.

“cdc says, even without masks in non-crowded outdoor spaces, men still cannot tell us to smile,” one person joked. 

“Missing from the ‘masks outside’ discourse is the fact that some of us enjoy having our faces covered because we do not want to be perceived,” tweeted another. 

Billy Eichner celebrated the news with a selfie:

“Masks off, baby,” he tweeted. But keep in mind that’s true only under certain guidelines. We’re still in a pandemic, so let’s all remember to do our part. 

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