It’s going to be hard to tell who is vaccinated and free to go into stores, schools and other sites without a mask – and so some organizations may keep mask mandates, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said early Thursday that fully vaccinated people should feel free to take off masks for most activities, even indoors and in crowds.
Asked how store owners and others will know whether their customers are safe without masks, Fauci said it will be difficult.
“They will not be able to know. I mean, you're going to be depending on people being honest enough to say whether they were vaccinated or not and responsible enough to be wearing… a mask, not only for their own protection, but also for the protection of others,” Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“And by the way, even though we will not be… mandating vaccine passports from the federal level there are going to be instances … there are going to be institutions, clearly, that are going to be saying — and that could be airlines, we know certain colleges are also saying, if you're not vaccinated, you're not going to come on campus to classes in real time,” Fauci added.
“There are going to be some institutions that might be saying the same thing. So although the federal government wouldn't be mandating to have a passport, proving you're vaccinated, there may be organizations that will do that.”
In other circumstances, Fauci said, there’s little need to police behavior. “So the situation has changed, so there's no reason at all for storekeepers to have people who have accidentally walked in without a mask, I mean, there's no reason not to have that at all,” said Fauci, who is a senior adviser to the White House and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“People feel very put upon if you are essentially judging them on the basis of whether they have been vaccinated,” Fauci added. “I think there is going to be a pushback against questioning somebody when they walk in.”
The people at risk will be those who have not been immunized, he said. “If you drop the mask mandate then you may have an increase in infection among those that are not vaccinated.”