On Thursday, May 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated Americans can go without a mask in most situations. The federal guidance raised concern over whether state and local officials should revamp their mask ordinances, and some states, like Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota, are already lifting mandates. It is currently unclear what Gov. DeSantis will do in the state of Florida, although he recently ended local Covid-19 restrictions.
While most indoor and outdoor locations can be visited by vaccinated people without a mask, there are a few exceptions. Vaccinated people must still cover their faces when flying, using public transit, and visiting healthcare facilities and congregate settings like prisons and homeless shelters. The CDC also said vaccinated Americans must continue to abide by existing state, local or tribal laws and regulations, and to follow rules for local businesses and workplaces.
"We have all longed for this moment," CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a White House news conference on Thursday, May 13. "If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic."
Still, about 64 percent of Americans are still not fully vaccinated. Despite a greater vaccine supply, vaccination rates are falling—even with the promise of more freedoms once vaccinated.