Coronavirus

America changes COVID-19 safety guidelines for vaccinated people

The rules on mask wearing and social distancing in America have been changed for those who have been fully vaccinated.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that people who have been fully inoculated can now visit others who have also received the vaccine.

The updated safety guidelines, announced Monday, also state that those who are fully vaccinated can meet indoors with others who are vaccinated without the need to social distance and they can also meet indoors with those who have not been vaccinated if they are a from a single household and are at low risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.

Testing and quarantine measures can also be skipped when a vaccinated person is exposed to COVID-19, unless they start to develop symptoms, but they must still avoid non-essential travel and large crowds.

Face coverings and social distancing are still required in public at the moment. This is because the CDC said there is still a risk that the virus can be passed between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not been, because research on this remains sparse currently.

Speaking at the briefing, CDC senior adviser Andy Slavitt said: “We’ve begun to describe what a world looks like as we move beyond Covid-19. As more and more people get vaccinated… the list of activities will continue to grow.”

Despite these changes and the vast vaccination programme, experts still warn that COVID-19 is still a major heath concern.

CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky said: “Over 90% of the population still has not been vaccinated. Our responsibility is to make sure, in the context of 60,000 new cases a day, that we protect those who are vulnerable.”

She said that the safety guidance would be updated as “more people get vaccinated and science and evidence expands”.

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