First of all, congratulations! It has been a long and difficult year for everyone, and finally having some protection against COVID-19 feels good. We still have a ways to go though, and since we are still learning about how the vaccines will affect the spread of the virus, it is important that everyone one keeps taking precautions – such as wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds or poorly ventilated indoor spaces. The CDC has also provided some recommendations to help with decision making in daily activities for people who have been vaccinated.
The first thing to consider is if you have been fully vaccinated. People are only considered fully vaccinated two full weeks after the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna), or two full weeks after a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). If you are not fully vaccinated yet, make sure you are still following all of the CDC’s precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
If you are fully vaccinated, here are some things you can start to do:
- You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart.
- If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
- If you are traveling internationally, you still need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination.
- You do not need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
- You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States.
- You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel; however, you do not need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
- If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to get tested unless you have symptoms.
If you are fully vaccinated, here are some of the things you should still keep doing:
- Take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
- Avoid medium or large sized gatherings.
- If you travel, you will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
- You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay away from others.
- You will still have to follow all guidelines given at your workplace.
For more information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccinations, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html