Thursday the CDC said the fully-vaccinated no longer are required to wear a mask indoors or partake in social distancing guidelines. Previously, the CDC announced that those who are fully-vaccinated were no longer required to mask up outside. Many people were able to leave their masks at home for the first time in a long while.

According to the latest CDC update, the fully-vaccinated are not required to wear a mask or employ physical distancing “in any setting, except where required by federal , state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local businesses and workplace guidelines.” These may include hospitals, Dr.’s offices, and local grocery stores.

“Anyone who has been fully-vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Thursday during a White House news conference. “If you are fully-vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”

Dr. Walensky cautions that the immunocompromised should consult their health care provider before removing their mask, and those who might develope symptoms of the virus, should resume wearing one, including those who have yet to be vaccinated.

Masks have become a symbol of partisan divide between those who have supported the science behind a need to wear them, and those who have believed that the pandemic was nothing more than a hoax to attack the former president who was neither serious about wearing one, following CDC guidelines, or urging his radical followers to do the same.

“Some may say, ‘Just feel more comfortable, continue to wear a mask,’ ” Joe Biden said Thursday in a speech from the Rose Garden. “They may feel that way. If you’re someone with a mask, you see them, please treat them with kindness and respect. We’ve had too much conflict, too much bitterness, to much anger, too much politicization of this issue about wearing masks. Let’s put it to rest. Let’s remember we’re all Americans. Let’s remember we’re all in this together. If you’re fully-vaccinated and you can take your mask off, you’ve earned the right to do something that Americans are known for all around the world, greeting others with a smile.”

Sources: The Week, NY Times, CNN.

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