The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says that fully vaccinated people are OK to mingle indoors with both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in some circumstances.
Fully vaccinated is defined as having waited two weeks after receiving both two-dose vaccine shots, or a single one-dose vaccine injection.
The CDC, however, still states that all people — regardless of vaccination status — should continue to avoid nonessential travel.
Now the airline industry is pushing back on the guidance, saying that it believes air travel is relatively safe.
What are the details?
During a White House briefing Monday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced that fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without having to wear a mask or engage in social distancing.
The CDC also says that fully vaccinated people can visit indoors — and mask-free — with unvaccinated people from a single household so long as they are at low risk for severe COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated people can also skip quarantine and testing procedures following a known exposure so long as they are asymptomatic, the guidance notes.
Those people who are vaccinated should continue to wear face coverings in public and should also avoid nonessential travel. Vaccinated people should also continue to avoid medium- and large-sized public gatherings and should continue using masks and utilizing social distancing measures when around unvaccinated mixed households.
During the briefing, Wolensky said, “Science and the protection of public health must guide us as we begin to resume these activities. Today’s action represents an important first step. It is not our final destination. As more people get vaccinated, levels of COVID-19 infection decline in communities, and as our understanding of COVID immunity improves, we look forward to updating these recommendations to the public.”
What is the airline industry saying?
In a statement responding to the CDC’s new guidance, industry group Airlines for America says that flying poses a low risk of COVID-19 infection because of “heavily filtered air and federally mandated mask wearing.”
The group in a statement added, “We remain confident that this layered approach significantly reduces risk,” the group said.
BREAKING: CDC announces new guidelines for vaccinated people to gather indoors with each other