The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has now announced that people can go outdoors without masks-regardless of whether a person is vaccinated or not, as long as they are traveling alone or with close family members. People who have received both doses of their vaccine can even have small gatherings with others without masks. These new guidelines by the CDC are a source of help for Americans, who can now decide what activities are safest for them after getting fully vaccinated.

In a briefing on Tuesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stated how the agency has spent the whole of last year telling Americans what they can’t do. This time around, “I’m going to tell you some of the things you can do if you are fully vaccinated”, affirmed Walensky. President Joe Biden took hold of this new opportunity and used the prescribed guidelines to urge more people to get vaccinated. He declared that taking a dose of the vaccine isn’t just a step towards ensuring your safety, but also of those around you.

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can go about their normal routine in restaurants without the use of masks. As for those who are yet to be vaccinated, masks should be worn whenever possible if dining outdoors. It is important to note that these new guidelines are specific to a few activities only; other activities such as attending crowded events, religious gatherings, and gym workouts should only be pursued by vaccinated individuals when wearing a mask. People who haven’t been vaccinated should avoid these places as they are considered unsafe.

This is an alleged attempt by the CDC to give an upper hand to those who have taken their vaccine dose, and also urge others to follow in the same footsteps, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. However, Schaffner added that the guidelines are a tad bit complicated for people to fully understand at first. “You almost have to keep these guidelines with you to figure out, ‘Can I do this, or can I not do this?'”, states Schaffner.

Dr.Nahid Bhadelia, a physician from Boston Medical Center declared that people must understand how staying outdoors is considerably safer than being indoors. Most of the people who have been infected with the virus were indoors and hence, the CDC must “continue to show the importance of indoor masking,” proclaimed Bhadelia.

Despite the relaxed guidelines put forward by the CDC, people should still use their senses to decide what is the best course of action for them. People who have a lower immunity or have underlying health conditions should continue wearing a mask, regardless of their vaccination position, declared Schaffner.

At present,  37% of the U.S adult population has been fully vaccinated.