THE CDC has issued a new mask mandate for vaccinated Americans as a result of the highly infectious Delta variant.
The agency announced on Tuesday that even vaccinated people will be required to wear face coverings again in parts of the United States due to a rise in Covid-19 infections stemming from new mutations.
"We continue to strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated," Dr Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday, before explaining the new guidelines.
The doctor went on to say that those "in areas with substantial and high transmissions" should wear masks indoors – whether or not they are vaccinated.
This includes when individuals are inside of schools, she confirmed.
Back in May, they confirmed that people who had received both doses of the vaccine would not have to wear a mask or social distance.
At the time, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr Walensky confirmed this was based on declining infections, the swift vaccine rollout, as well as efficacy against Covid-19 variants.
However, even people who were fully jabbed had to continue planes and trains, at airports, on mass transit, and in medical environments like hospitals.
On Sunday, Dr Anthony Fauci told CNN health officials were considering revised mask guidance.
Fauci revealed that this was “under active consideration" ahead of today's expected announcement.
In May, the CDC confirmed that two weeks after receiving a Covid vaccine, Americans can safely resume life as it was before the pandemic with limited restrictions.
"If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic," the CDC said in a statement.
"The science is clear: if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic."
'THE SCIENCE IS CLEAR'
"You can shed your masks," added CDC Director Rochelle Walensky during a press conference – two months before they are set to tighten restrictions again.
As it stands, the guidelines still call for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings such as buses, trains, planes, prisons, and homeless shelters.
Americans were advised that they will still need to follow regulations implemented by different local businesses and in various workplaces.
However, it would ease restrictions for reopening workplaces and schools.
White House staff were reportedly emailed after the announcement and told they no longer need to wear a mask on the grounds if they are vaccinated.
First Lady Jill Biden was spotted without her mask shortly afterward.
Likewise, President Joe Biden also went maskless as he emerged from the White House for the first time since the announcement.
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