Th Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday issued guidelines for Americans who have received a COVID-19 vaccination, saying those fully vaccinated can safely visit with other vaccinated people and in some circumstances with small groups of unvaccinated people.
"COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic," the CDC said in its release.
The CDC defines as fully vaccinated 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, CNN also reports.
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 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
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.
If fully vaccinated people live in a non-healthcare congregate setting, such as a group home detention facility, they should quarantine for 14 days and get tested if exposed to someone with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.
The guidelines say that the risk of infection in social activities like going to the gym or restaurant is lower for the fully vaccinated, however, people should still take precautions as transmission risk in these settings is higher and increases the more unvaccinated there are there.