By STEPHANIE EBBS, ABC News
(ATLANTA) — Americans who have received the COVID-19 vaccine can gather with vaccinated grandparents or friends without wearing masks or keeping their distance, according to new CDC guidance announced Monday, and those grandparents can visit with and hug family members that aren’t vaccinated as long as they don’t have underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for COVID-19.
But getting the vaccine does not mean you should travel or gather in large groups, according to the CDC, which says vaccinated individuals should still stick to guidance
The CDC says individuals who are fully vaccinated — meaning two weeks after they have received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine — can safely gather around friends or family who are also vaccinated indoors without masks or social distancing, as well as visit with friends or family from a single household who aren’t vaccinated but have a low risk of severe disease from COVID-19.
The new guidance also says that vaccinated individuals don’t need to quarantine or get tested if they come in contact with someone positive for COVID-19 and don’t have any symptoms.
But in public, even people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine should continue to wear masks and maintain distance when in public, visiting with people at severe risk for COVID-19 disease who have not been vaccinated, or when socializing with groups of unvaccinated people from multiple households, even if they are at low risk of disease.
The CDC says people who have been vaccinated should still avoid gathering in larger groups and should get tested if they show any symptoms of COVID-19.
“We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, said in a press release.
“There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in the privacy of their own homes. Everyone — even those who are vaccinated — should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings. As the science evolves and more people get vaccinated, we will continue to provide more guidance to help fully vaccinated people safely resume more activities.”
Federal officials working on the pandemic response have said they want to provide optimism to people frustrated with what’s now been a year of restrictions, staying at home, and not being able to see friends or family.
But at the same time the number of COVID-19 cases is high and they want people to remain cautious until fewer new COVID-19 cases are reported and more Americans are vaccinated.
Vaccinations are ramping up significantly in the U.S. as the supply of the three authorized vaccines increase. 58.8 million Americans have received at least one dose and 12% are considered fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received both required doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
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