Washington: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks. The recommendation holds true for both indoors and outdoors, the CDC said. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris appeared before reporters at the Rose Garden of the White House without wearing masks, shortly after the announcement on Thursday. Also Read - SARS-CoV-2 is Airborne: US CDC Revises Its Public Guidelines on Spread of Coronavirus

“I think it’s a great milestone. A great day. It’s been made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly,” Biden said. He said fully vaccinated people are at very, very low risk of contracting COVID-19 as he referring to the latest CDC guidelines.

“Therefore, if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask. But if you’ve not been vaccinated, or if you’ve been getting a two-shot vaccine and you’ve only had your first shot but not your second, or you haven’t waited the full two weeks after your second shot, you still need to wear a mask,” the President said.

LATEST GUIDELINES BY CDC

In its latest guidelines, the CDC said fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Those travelling within the United States need not get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel. The CDC said the vaccines are effective at preventing the COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death. The vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading COVID-19, it said.

The guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorised for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines.

It can also be applied to COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorised for emergency use by the World Health Organization. This includes AstraZeneca/Oxford, the CDC said.

(With agency inputs)