On May 13, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) released an update that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask in most settings. The update continues the trend of public health authorities relaxing previous guidelines for individuals that have received a COVID-19 vaccine. See Health Law Pulse posts here, here, here and here.

More specifically, the guidance provides that fully vaccinated people:

  • “no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
  • “can refrain from testing following a known exposure unless they are residents or employees of a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter.”

The new guidance does have caveats. Fully vaccinated people must continue to wear masks when:

  • traveling by bus, plane, train or other modes of public transportation, or while in transportation hubs like airports and bus stations;
  • in prisons, jails or homeless shelters;
  • required by existing state, local or tribal laws and regulations; and
  • required by local rules for businesses and workplaces.

As of Wednesday, May 12, 2021, about 154 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and about 117.6 million people are fully vaccinated.

Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers will continue to provide relevant updates on the COVID-19 PHE on the Health Law Pulse.