Americans who have been inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine are now allowed to go outdoors without wearing masks, according to recently released guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On Tuesday, CDC announced changes to its mask guidelines, specifically for those who’ve been vaccinated.
The relaxed regulations now allow those who’ve taken the coronavirus jab to go maskless when going out alone or with people who live in the same household. The inoculated are also not required to cover up when going to small gatherings of similarly vaccinated individuals.
Although some restrictions have been eased, mask-wearing when at concerts, large sporting events, parades, and other mass gathering occasions is still being observed as part of safety protocols.
The same rule will be applied for indoor spaces like movie theaters, shopping centers, and museums – crowded or not.
The easing of mask protocols has been attributed to the USA’s effective vaccination program. So far, the country has vaccinated 231 million individuals, which is 70 percent of its 328 million total population – more than a year since the country’s first case was identified.
Out of this vaccinated population, 76.7 million or 23.1% have been fully inoculated.
In a televised conference, US President Joe Biden echoed CDC’s announcement.
“Beginning today, gathering with a group of friends in a park, going for a picnic — as long as you are vaccinated and outdoors, you can do it without a mask,” he said.
Before ending his speech, Biden urged people to still wear masks when inside enclosed areas.
Meanwhile, for the Philippines, the return to normalcy is still uncertain. The Duterte Administration is currently having difficulty acquiring vaccines due to delivery delays.
Six vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – specifically AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Janssen, Sinovac, Covaxin, and the Pfizer-BioNTech.
At the moment, the national government is in the second month of its vaccination drive. From its initial target group – the medical frontliners – it has extended its coronavirus jab program to senior citizens and people with comorbidities.
The government has vaccinated 1,809, 801 Filipinos as of April 27 – 246,986 or 14 percent of which have received the second dose. It targets the inoculation of 70 million Filipinos to achieve herd immunity.
You can view the latest stats below.