People jog on Venice Beach on April 28, 2021 in Venice, California. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has issued new guidelines stating that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors except in crowded places.
Mario Tama | Getty Images
Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay half a meter away from others in most environments, whether outdoors or indoors. This will be announced in the updated public health guidelines on Thursday, which two people were briefed on, the matter told NBC News.
There are a handful of cases where people still have to wear masks – in healthcare, in a business that needs them, or on an airplane – even after they had their final vaccine dose two or more weeks ago, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is expected to tell reporters at a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
The CDC’s announcement comes just before Memorial Day and July 4th parade season. President Joe Biden has said he hopes that enough Americans will be vaccinated by Independence Day to hold outdoor meetings safely.
Last week, Biden announced his government’s latest goals in the fight against the coronavirus: 70% of adults in the US should receive at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 160 million adults should be fully vaccinated by July 4.
As of Wednesday, more than 151 million Americans ages 18 and older, or 58.7% of the US adult population, had received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, according to the CDC. Around 116 million American adults, or 45.1% of the American adult population, are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
To achieve the president’s goal, the government is working to make vaccination with Covid as easy and convenient as possible.
Biden is instructing thousands of local pharmacies to offer walk-in vaccinations to people without an appointment, a senior administration official told reporters last week. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will also support pop-up and mobile clinics aimed at those who may otherwise have difficulty reaching vaccination sites.
On Tuesday, the White House announced a new partnership with Uber and Lyft that will offer free trips to vaccination sites through July 4th.
Thursday’s new CDC guidelines will likely encourage more Americans, especially those who are still reluctant to get the shots, to get the vaccine.
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