It is good to see your face!

People, who have received COVID-19 vaccine can ditch their mask, for the majority of time, announced Joe Biden on Thursday May 13th in his news conference.

This, removing the mask mandates, is a huge step towards normality after over a yearlong worldwide pandemic. CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) eased the mask mandate announcing that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing a mask when outdoors, no matter the crowd size. The mask regulations were eased somewhat also when being indoors.

President Biden led by example by removing his own mask and making it clear that people fully vaccinated do not need to wear one anymore. However, he also mentioned, that people who are not vaccinated, should get vaccinated or wear a mask until they do.

This is definitely a step to the right direction, however, please be aware that this change does not remove all mask mandates. CDC is still enforcing the guidelines of wearing a mask when in crowded indoor spaces. These include the public transportation like busses and airplanes, and also public facilities like hospitals, prisons and homeless centers. The guidance set by the CDC will help reopening the workplaces and schools as well, and it’ll remove the need for social distancing for those fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated person is a person who has received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The vaccine is in full effect two weeks after receiving the last dose. As of today (5/14/2021) over 47% of Americans have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, but some people still have concerns or removing their masks. We have worn them over a year now, and in a way, it has become part of our everyday life, as well as our outfits. Even Jill Biden mentioned that she feels naked without it.

The new mask guidelines allow fully vaccinated people to:

  • Partake in outdoor as well as indoor activities without wearing a mask
  • No need to keep socially distancing with other fully vaccinated people
  • Large gatherings are allowed (yay for weddings and family dinners!)

Non-vaccinated people are still required to wear a mask.

Biden mentioned that non-vaccinated people are not arrested if they are not wearing a mask, but he strongly recommends these people to continue wearing a mask to protect themselves as well as their neighbors.

Lawrence Gostin, and expert from Georgetown University said that the new guidelines can be confusing to many. For example, companies and business owners have no way of knowing if a person is fully vaccinated or not. People might also be hesitant to be in larger crowds if they do not know if the person next to them is vaccinated or not.

The research shows that vaccinated people can still get COVID-19, however, the symptoms are not as severe, and the recovery will be faster. Vaccinated people do not also pass on the virus to others. However, even if you are vaccinated and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, CDC says you must start wearing a mask immediately and get tested as soon as possible.

Overall, it will be good to see people smile again and looking forward to fully mask free life again!