President Joe Biden on Tuesday talked up newly relaxed guidelines for face coverings, with his remarks coming shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks at small outdoor gatherings.
“Starting today, if you’re fully vaccinated, and you’re outdoors, and not in a big crowd, you no longer need to wear a mask,” Biden said.
“I want to be absolutely clear. If you’re in a crowd like a stadium or at a conference — or a concert — you still need to wear a mask even if you’re outside. But beginning today, gathering with a group of friends in a park, going for a picnic — as long as you are vaccinated and outdoors, you can do it without a mask.”
With its new guidance for masks on Tuesday, the CDC said even if someone is fully vaccinated, they should still wear a mask for any indoor activities and at crowded outdoor events. The public-health agency considers people to be fully vaccinated two weeks after getting the Johnson & Johnson
shot or two weeks after getting the second dose of the Moderna
“The CDC is able to make this announcement because our scientists are convinced by the data that the odds of getting or giving the virus to others is very, very low, if you’ve both been fully vaccinated and out in the open air,” Biden said during his brief speech on Tuesday.
In addition, the president said he’ll speak next week about the path to achieving what he has described as “independence from this virus” by the Fourth of July.
Biden is slated to give a big speech on Wednesday night as he nears his 100th day in office. His State of the Union–like address is expected to focus on issues such as education, child care and policing.
traded flat to modestly lower Tuesday, a day after the S&P 500
and Nasdaq Composite
closed at records, as investors sifted through earnings reports and prepared for results from tech giants.