WASHINGTON: Americans vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer need to mask up outdoors when there is no crowd, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday, before celebrating by taking his first short walk at the White House without the face covering.
Biden told the nation in televised remarks from the leafy North Lawn that “stunning progress” has been made in getting vaccines administered and that stringent mask recommendations can now be relaxed.
“For those who haven’t gotten their vaccination yet, especially if you’re younger, or thinking you don’t need it, this is another great reason to go get vaccinated. Now. Now,” Biden said.
He was speaking shortly after the Centers for Disease Control notified fully vaccinated Americans that they can go mask-free most of the time outdoors.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” the CDC said in a statement.
Masks are still considered necessary for vaccinated people if they are at concerts, parades or large sporting events, even when outdoors, the CDC said.
Indoor activities also remain under a masks recommendation. This includes movie theatres and even “uncrowded” indoor shopping centres and museums, the CDC said.
STUDENT CURBS EASED
The Biden administration on Tuesday said it was easing restrictions on Chinese and other students travelling to the United States this fall, potentially helping colleges whose enrolments declined during the coronavirus pandemic.
The US State Department said it was expanding its national interest exemptions to cover students and academics from around the world from August 1. — Agencies