Post Vaccine: New Masking Dos and Don'ts
This information has been reviewed and approved by Infection Preventionist Rosine Angbanzan, MPH (May 2021).
If you are fully vaccinated, you can now go without a mask for most activities. In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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.
Regardless of your vaccine status, find out when masks need to be worn.
Health care settings
Everyone still needs to mask: Masks must be worn in all health care settings: hospitals, outpatient and urgent care centers, surgical centers, clinics, doctors’ offices, ambulance and emergency rooms, etc.
Everyone still needs to mask: Masks are still required to use public transportation including airplanes, buses, trains, rideshare, carpool, taxi, limo and other forms of public transportation
Businesses and workplaces
Companies can require masks be worn in their establishments by both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Carry a mask with you in case a store or other business requires it for entry.
Outdoor exercising, activities and small gatherings
No one needs to mask: No masking is needed for vaccinated or unvaccinated people to participate in outdoor activities such as walking, running, rolling, cycling with members of your family, or having small outdoor gatherings.
Outdoor dining and gatherings with different households
No mask if fully vaccinated: Dining at outdoor restaurants with people from different households (fully vaccinated and unvaccinated) is fine without a mask if you’ve been vaccinated. If you aren’t vaccinated, you should wear a mask.
Crowded outdoor events
No mask if fully vaccinated: Attending outdoor concerts, sporting events and parades without a mask is safe for people who are fully vaccinated. Wear a mask if you are not fully vaccinated.
Barbershop or hair salon
No mask if fully vaccinated: Getting a haircut or other salon services is considered a safe activity if you are fully vaccinated. The CDC recommends those unvaccinated to wear a mask and some businesses may still require masking for all
Indoor shopping centers, museums, theaters, worship services and choirs
No mask if fully vaccinated: No mask is needed to visit indoor stores, museums, theaters, worship services or indoor choirs if you are fully vaccinated, but businesses may still require them. Carry a mask with you in case a store or other business requires it for entry. If you are not fully vaccinated, you need to wear a mask.
Indoor gatherings and outdoor events
No mask if fully vaccinated: Attending outdoor concerts, sporting events and parades without a mask are safe activities for people who are fully vaccinated. If you aren’t vaccinated, you need to wear a mask.
Travel within the U.S.
It depends: Fully vaccinated people can travel without a mask, but need to follow federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including business guidance of your destinations. Remember that regulations requiring masking on public transportation still need to be followed by all.
National and state parks
It depends: Check with local, state and national parks about masking requirements. National parks will still require masks in some outdoor areas this summer.
Travel outside the U.S.
It depends: Before traveling, check mask requirements for your destination and CDC travel recommendations. And remember, separate regulations for public transportation still need to be followed by all.
Children Under Age 12
It depends: Children are less susceptible to COVID-19, but until they are eligible for a vaccine, the safest course is to continue wearing a mask when in public, around those who are not from their household or with those who are not vaccinated. Children can go maskless with members of their own household, at small gatherings with vaccinated people, and during swimming or other activities in which wearing a mask poses a safety risk.
If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you have questions about the vaccine, talk with your doctor.