Fully vaccinated people safely can gather together indoors without masks, though they still should avoid travel and medium- and large-sized gatherings, according to new recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published on Monday.
The new recommendations offer guidance to the “fully vaccinated,” defined as someone who has had either a single-dose vaccine or the second dose of a two-dose vaccine at least two weeks prior. Those individuals can gather together indoors without masks or with unvaccinated people from a single household, so long as none of the unvaccinated people are in a higher-risk group for Covid-19, according to the CDC. In addition, the fully vaccinated do not need to self-isolate if they have been around someone who has Covid-19 unless they show symptoms or live in a group setting, such as a nursing home.
However, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people still follow many of the same guidelines as the unvaccinated, including delaying both domestic and international travel, wearing masks and social distancing in public and avoiding anything other than small gatherings. The organization still is gathering data to determine the efficacy of vaccines in stopping the spread of Covid-19, and it will update its recommendations as that becomes clearer.
“We’re still learning how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that causes Covid-19. Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others,” according to the CDC. “We know that other prevention steps help stop the spread of Covid-19, and that these steps are still important, even as vaccines are being distributed.”