The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first set of recommendations on activities that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume.
For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or 2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen ).
The new guidance—which is based on the latest science — includes recommendations for how and when a fully vaccinated individual can visit with other people who are fully vaccinated and with other people who are not vaccinated. This guidance represents a first step toward returning to everyday activities in our communities. CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, rates of COVID-19 in the community change, and additional scientific evidence becomes available.
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart.
- Visit with unvaccinated people from one other household indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart if everyone in the other household is at low risk for severe disease.
- Refrain from quarantine and testing if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 after contact with someone who has COVID-19.
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. Although vaccinations are accelerating, CDC estimates that just 9.2% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that the FDA has authorized for emergency use.
While the new guidance is a positive step, the vast majority of people need to be fully vaccinated before COVID-19 precautions can be lifted broadly. Until then, it is important that everyone continues to adhere to public health mitigation measures to protect the large number of people who remain unvaccinated.
CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take these COVID-19 precautions when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19:
- Wear a well-fitted mask.
- Stay at least 6 feet from people you do not live with.
- Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.
CDC has released resources to help people make informed decisions when they are fully vaccinated.
This is the first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. This guidance will be updated and expanded based on the level of community spread of SARS-CoV-2, the proportion of the population that is fully vaccinated, and the rapidly evolving science on COVID-19 vaccines.
The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings.
Fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
- Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
- Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
- Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers
Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations. This guidance provides recommendations for fully vaccinated people, including:
- How fully vaccinated people can safely visit with each other or with unvaccinated people in private settings
- How fully vaccinated people should approach isolation, quarantine, and testing
In public spaces, fully vaccinated people should continue to follow guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a well-fitted mask, physical distancing (at least 6 feet), avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance. Fully vaccinated people should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19, especially following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If symptoms develop, all people – regardless of vaccination status – should isolate and be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, including SARS-CoV-2 testing, if indicated.
CDC will continue to evaluate and update public health recommendations for vaccinated people as more information, including on new variants, becomes available. Further information on evidence and considerations related to these recommendations is available in the new Science Brief.
Recommendations for Visiting with Others in Private Settings
Visits or small gatherings likely represent minimal risk to fully vaccinated people. Medium or large-sized gatherings and those including unvaccinated people from multiple households increase the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Though the risk of disease may be minimal to the fully vaccinated person themselves, they should be mindful of their potential risk of transmitting the virus to others if they become infected, especially if they are visiting with unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or who have unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe disease in their own households. Fully vaccinated people should not visit or attend a gathering if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status of the other people at the gathering.
Indoor visits between fully vaccinated people who do not wear masks or physically distance from one another are likely low risk. For example, if you are fully vaccinated, it is likely a low risk for you to invite other fully vaccinated friends to dinner inside your private residence.
Indoor visits between fully vaccinated people and unvaccinated people who do not wear masks or physically distance from one another are likely low risk for the vaccinated people.
Therefore, the level of precautions taken should be determined by the characteristics of the unvaccinated people, who remain unprotected against COVID-19.
Vaccinated people visiting with unvaccinated people from a single household that does not have individuals at risk of severe COVID-19
If the unvaccinated people are from a single household that does not have individuals at risk of severe COVID-19, they can visit with fully vaccinated people indoors, without anyone wearing masks, with a low risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. For example, fully vaccinated grandparents can visit indoors with their unvaccinated healthy daughter and her healthy children without wearing masks or physical distancing, provided none of the unvaccinated family members are at risk of severe COVID-19.
Vaccinated people visiting with unvaccinated people from a single household that has individuals at risk of severe COVID-19
If any of the unvaccinated people or their household members are at increased risk of severe COVID-19, all attendees should take precautions including wearing a well-fitted mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and visiting outdoors or in a well-ventilated space.
For example, if a fully vaccinated individual visits with an unvaccinated friend who is seventy years old and therefore at risk of severe disease, the visit should take place outdoors, wearing well-fitted masks, and maintaining physical distance (at least 6 feet).
Vaccinated people visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households at the same time
If the unvaccinated people come from multiple households, there is a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission among them. Therefore, all people involved should take precautions including wearing a well-fitted mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and visiting outdoors or in a well-ventilated space.
Continuing the example from above, if fully vaccinated grandparents are visiting with their unvaccinated daughter and her children and the daughter’s unvaccinated neighbors also come over, the visit should then take place outdoors, wearing well-fitted masks, and maintaining physical distance (at least 6 feet). This is due to the risk the two unvaccinated households pose to one another.
All people, regardless of vaccination status, should adhere to current guidance to avoid medium- or large-sized in-person gatherings and to follow any applicable local guidance restricting the size of gatherings. If they choose to participate, fully vaccinated people should continue to adhere to prevention measures that reduce spread, including wearing a well-fitted mask, maintaining physical distance from others, and washing hands frequently.
Read the full recommendations.