CDC Says Fully Vaccinated Individuals can Resume Activities Without a Mask


The CDC considers individuals in the United States to be fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving a complete series of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can resume activities they were doing prior to the pandemic, according to updated guidance from the CDC. The agency also advised that fully vaccinated individuals can resume many activities without wearing a mask or social distancing.1

The CDC considers individuals in the United States to be fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving their second of a 2-dose Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series, or 2 weeks after receiving a single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.1

According to the CDC, outdoor activities deemed safest for fully vaccinated people, but less safe for unvaccinated individuals, include:2

  • attending small gatherings
  • dining with friends from multiple households
  • attending crowded events, such as a live performance, parade, or sporting event

Some examples of indoor activities considered safest by the CDC for fully vaccinated individuals that are less safe for unvaccinated peers include:2

  • visiting a barber shop or salon
  • going to an uncrowded shopping center or museum
  • attending a small gathering of people from multiple households, whether fully vaccinated or not
  • going to a movie theater
  • attending a full-capacity worship service or singing with a chorus
  • participating in a high-intensity exercise activity
  • eating at a restaurant or bar

In the updated guidance released today, the CDC cautioned that masks and social distancing may still be required of fully vaccinated individuals in adherence to federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial laws, rules, and regulations, as well as policies put into place by businesses and workplaces.1

The agency is advising that all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, will still need to wear a mask when using public forms of transportation, including planes, buses, and trains. They should also continue to practice social distancing and frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer while traveling.3 However, fully vaccinated individuals do not need COVID-19 testing before or after traveling, nor do they need to quarantine upon arrival at a destination in the United States.1

Individuals who are fully vaccinated should continue paying close attention to policies and COVID-19 situations at international destinations prior to making the trip. International travelers still need to provide a negative test result for COVID-19 or documentation of recovery from the virus prior to boarding international flights, regardless of vaccination status. The CDC also advises international travelers to obtain testing for COVID-19 within 3 days upon return to the United States, but these fully vaccinated individuals do not need to self-quarantine.1

CDC guidance advises individuals who are not fully vaccinated to delay taking trips, if possible, until they are fully vaccinated. Those who do travel are advised to take a viral COVID-19 test 1 to 3 days prior to taking the trip and get tested again 3 to 5 days after returning home, as well as self-quarantining for a full 7 days.3


  1. When you’ve been fully vaccinated. CDC. Updated May 13, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021.
  2. Choosing safer activities. CDC. Updated May 13, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021.
  3. Domestic travel during COVID-19. CDC. Updated April 27, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021.

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