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You No Longer Have to Wear a Mask at Restaurants Under These Conditions

The CDC is easing mask guidance for certain individuals.
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese
outdoor dining

Almost 30% of the U.S. has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and mask mandates are beginning to change as a result. These Americans can now carry out several activities without a mask, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you're fully vaccinated, you can now safely unmask while dining in an outdoor restaurant with people from different households; attending small outdoor gatherings with both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals; or exercising or walking outdoors. However, if you're attending a large outdoor event like a parade or a live concert, you're still advised to mask up.

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"If you are fully vaccinated, things are much safer for you," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a virtual White House press briefing. "There are many situations where fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask, particularly if they are outdoors."

If you're not fully vaccinated, on the other hand, the CDC still recommends wearing a mask during outdoor gatherings—unless it's a small gathering where all of the other people in attendance have been vaccinated. But even these individuals can safely take their masks off during outdoor activities like jogging, hiking, or biking, if performing the activity alone or with members of their household. The risk of getting infected with COVID-19 outdoors is much lower than in enclosed spaces; only about 10% of infections happen outdoors, according to Wallensky.

This is the third time that the CDC has adjusted mask guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals, Business Insider reports. Last month, the agency said fully vaccinated people could safely gather and hug indoors without masks, as well as safely fly for domestic travel, as long as they wear a mask during transit.

For more on the latest health news, check out Drinking More of This May Reduce Liver Disease Risk, New Study Says. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

Mura Dominko
Mura is a senior news editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more
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