CDC Says Masks or Physically Distancing No Longer Necessary for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

As the numbers of individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 continue to rise in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (better known as the CDC) has issued new guidance that radically changes the policies we’ve seen in the last year.


In a briefing Thursday afternoon, the CDC confirmed that face masks and physical distancing are largely no longer necessary for those who are fully vaccinated, perhaps the largest step towards normalcy since the pandemic began. There are exceptions to this new guidance: masks are still required for those using public transit, like buses, trains and airplanes. And, of course, local and state governments as well as private businesses are allowed to set their own requirements.

From the CDC website:

If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
  • You can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
    • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
    • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
    • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
    • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live or work in a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

For now, if you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses.
  • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested within 3 days of their flight (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

As of the writing of this article, neither Disney Parks or Universal Parks & Resorts have announced any changes to their COVID-19 safety protocols based on this new guidance. Keep reading WDWNT, Disneyland News Today and Universal Parks News Today for more on this ongoing story.