The CDC updated its guidance (here and here) and relaxed its standards in some instances for individuals who are fully vaccinated. This is because certain activities present a low risk of contracting COVID-19 for such individuals. “Fully vaccinated individuals” means that two weeks or more have passed since the person received either the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. Note, however, that immunocompromised people, even if fully vaccinated, should consult their healthcare provider about the applicability of this new guidance.

The updated guidance provides that the following regarding fully vaccinated people:

  • Mask Wearing
    • Do not need to wear masks or physically distance if they are visiting indoors with other fully vaccinated people or with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease
    • May participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
  • Travel
    • May travel domestically, do not need to test for COVID-19 before or after travel, and do not need to self-quarantine after travel
    • Do not need to be tested before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States (note that the fully vaccinated individual will still need a negative test to return to the United States and the CDC still recommends that the individual get a viral COVID-19 test three to five days after travel)
  • Testing and Quarantining
    • Do not need to be tested or quarantine following a known exposure to COVID-19 if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings, including employees of high-density workplaces (such as poultry processing plants), residents and employees of non-healthcare congregate settings, and dormitory residents
    • Do not need to participate in routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible

Fully vaccinated individuals should still do the following:

  • Take precautions in indoor public settings by wearing a well-fitted mask and engaging in physical distancing
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with (1) unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or (2) unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid large indoor in-person gatherings and wear well-fitted masks if choosing to participate
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

The CDC provided this infographic to help explain activities that unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people may engage in with corresponding risk levels.