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The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Tuesday that Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 would no longer be required to wear facial coverings outdoors.
According to the Washington Post, the CDC said people who are two weeks removed from their final coronavirus vaccination shot do not have to wear a mask when walking, jogging, biking or attending small gatherings outdoors.
For unvaccinated Americans, the agency said they do not need a facial covering when outdoors with household members. The changes do not apply to crowded outdoor settings, with the CDC sharing that people should still wear masks when attending sporting events, live performances and parades.
Health officials said the decision to reduce mask mandates outdoors was made because “breezes disperse airborne virus particles, distancing is easier and humidity and sunlight render the coronavirus less viable.”
As for indoor gatherings and activities—such as hair salons, restaurants, shopping centers, museums and movie theaters—the CDC recommends all Americans continue to wear facial coverings.
Earlier this month, the CDC announced Americans who have received an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine could travel safely within the U.S. The fully vaccinated tourists will no longer be required to get tested before or after travel unless required by the destination.