New guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can safely visit with other vaccinated people and small groups of unvaccinated people in some circumstances — but there are still important safety precautions required.
The guidelines will be announced at the White House Covid-19 Response Team briefing on Monday.
The CDC defines people who are fully vaccinated as those who are two weeks past their second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine or two weeks past a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
People who are vaccinated are protected and there is growing evidence that they don’t spread Covid-19, but scientists are still trying to understand how long vaccine protection lasts.
“The level of precautions taken should be determined by the characteristics of the unvaccinated people, who remain unprotected against Covid-19,” the guidelines said.
The CDC says fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit other vaccinated people indoors without masks or physical distancing
- Visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household without masks or physical distancing, if the unvaccinated people are at low risk for severe disease.
- Skip quarantine and testing if exposed to someone who has Covid-19 but are asymptomatic, but should monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
However, people who are fully vaccinated still need to take precautions in many scenarios.
The guidelines say fully vaccinated people must:
- Wear a mask and keep good physical distance around the unvaccinated who are at increased risk for severe Covid-19, or if the unvaccinated person has a household member who is at higher risk
- Wear masks and physically distance when visiting unvaccinated people who are from multiple households.
In addition, fully vaccinated people should continue basic safety precautions, including: wearing a mask that fits well and keeping physical distance in public; avoiding medium- and large-sized crowds; avoiding poorly ventilated public spaces; washing hands frequently; and getting tested for Covid-19 if they feel sick.
Remember: The CDC travel recommendations have not changed for the unvaccinated. The guidelines still say that with high case numbers, the CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time.