If you’ve gotten your COVID-19 vaccination and haven’t had a chance to hang out with your friends much since the pandemic began, it might be time to chill the champagne.
New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that it’s safe for fully vaccinated people to get together with each other without masks -- as long as it’s indoors.
"If you and a friend, or you and a family member are both vaccinated, you can have dinner together" without wearing masks or without distancing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a Monday press briefing.
Caution still prevails
While the CDC gives vaccinated mask wearers a green light, health experts warn that is not a hall pass for everyone to go wild, especially with new variants of COVID-19 emerging. The agency emphasized that several restrictions remain, including advising against travel and recommending mask wearing in public.
It’s also important to note that people who get their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should also wait two weeks before meeting indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks or social distancing. Such gatherings are “low risk,” the CDC said. The agency estimates that just 10 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated so far.
Bloomberg News also quotes the CDC as saying that fully vaccinated people can meet with those who are not yet vaccinated from a single household without wearing masks or distancing. An example would be vaccinated grandparents who would like to visit their unvaccinated adult child and grandchild, as long as they’re healthy and not at high risk.
However, the CDC said that fully-vaccinated people should still continue to mask up and socially distance in public in situations where they’re visiting with unvaccinated people from more than one household, or when they’re around unvaccinated people who are at high risk, such as seniors.
“We believe these new recommendations are an important first step in our efforts to resume everyday activities in our communities,” Walensky said.