Last year, the guidance we received from the government was straightforward: wear a mask, keep your distance from others and stay at home if you’re able. Now, with millions of people being vaccinated, there’s a two-tiered system of guidance — one for those who are fully vaccinated and one for those who are not, which can be a bit confusing.
So, here it is in a nutshell. If you aren’t yet vaccinated, none of the government’s previous guidance has changed. You should still wear a mask at all times when in public and keep your distance, though the government is no longer saying stay at home at all times.
Meanwhile, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks can:
• Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
• Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe Covid-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
• Take part in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
• Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine afterward.
• Refrain from testing before leaving the U.S. for international travel (unless required by the destination country) and refrain from self-quarantine after returning to the U.S.
• Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings.
• Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic.
• Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible.
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
• Take precautions in indoor public settings, like wearing well-fitting masks.
• Wear masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe Covid-19 or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk.
• Wear masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households.
• Avoid large indoor gatherings.
•Get tested if experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.
• Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
• Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.
Our strong advice: Get vaccinated. Clearly, the positives outweigh any small inconvenience of being inoculated.