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May 13, 2021

Mask no more: The fully vaccinated can bare their smiles again as CDC updates face-covering guidance, San Antonio Report, JJ Velasquez

Fully vaccinated people in the U.S. can (in most cases) shed their masks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday in perhaps the most significant guideline update since the CDC recommended mask use to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The measure comes as daily vaccinations in the U.S. have dropped off in recent weeks with a more abundant supply eluding the arms of those who hesitate to get the shot and others who actively resist it.

But the Biden administration will hope the prospect of ditching their masks in most public settings will entice people who are straddling the vaccine fence.

In addition to allowing people to remove their masks, the updates also pertain to social distancing, exempting fully vaccinated people from the practices except where required by law, business policy, or workplace guidance. People riding public transit, flying on a plane, or visiting health care facilities are still advised to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Nan Palmero, director of marketing at Office Furniture Liquidations, said the store would no longer require employees who are fully vaccinated to wear masks, nor will customers have to wear them. But any customer or employee wishing to wear one “will be welcome to do so,” he said.