The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 earlier this month; the advice is particularly relevant during springtime holidays. A person is considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last dose of a vaccine.
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit other fully vaccinated people indoors without masks or physical distancing
- Visit unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms indoors without masks or physical distancing
- Abstain from quarantine and testing following exposure if no symptoms arise
Fully vaccinated people should:
- Not attend a gathering if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-like symptoms
- Continue mask wearing and physical distancing in public
- Wear masks and practice distancing when visiting unvaccinated people who are or live with somebody who is at high risk for severe COVID symptoms
- Wear masks and practice physical distancing when visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid medium to large sized gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-like symptoms
- Follow your employer's and state Department of Health's safety rules
Regardless of vaccination status or whether there is an active pandemic, frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes are always recommended.
Those who have not been vaccinated are advised to continue avoiding social gatherings with people outside of their household who has also not been vaccinated when possible.
Virtual gatherings and religious services are still recommended.
If holding an in-person holiday dinner or other gathering, consider the following:
- Host the gathering outdoors if weather permits
- Designate only one person to serve food so that everyone does not need to touch the same utensils
- Put a lid or cover on food that is not actively being served
- Consider using disposable plates, utensils, cups, napkins, etc.
- Have everybody clean or dispose of their own tableware or divide the work by household
As of Friday, the CDC released special travel guidelines for people who have been fully vaccinated. Individuals who have a full emergency authorized COVID-19 vaccination may travel safely within the United States according to the new guidelines.
Vaccinated travelers also:
- Do not need to have a COVID-19 test before or after travel unless a specific destination requires it
- Do not need to self quarantine after returning home
For unvaccinated individuals who will travel anyway, the CDC suggests:
- If you have been tested recently for COVID-19, keep a copy of the test results with you
- Check travel restrictions before heading out
- Get a COVID-19 test three to five days after returning
- If a test is unavailable or unwanted, self-quarantine for at least ten days after returning
- If a test is performed, self-quarantine for a week
- Avoid high-risk individuals for at least two weeks after returning
- Self-monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms and isolate if symptoms arise
People who have recovered from COVID-19 within the last three months prior to traveling are not required to take a COVID-19 test or self quarantine after returning from a trip.
Regardless of vaccination status, travelers should:
- Wear a mask in public settings, especially if taking a plane, bus, or train
- Avoid crowds whenever possible, staying at least six feet away from anyone who is not from your household. This applies both indoors and outdoors
- Wash hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Bring extra supplies such as masks and sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
- Avoid contact with anyone who is obviously sick