Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, get vaccinated as soon as you can and wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.

Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

NOTICE: FDA authorized the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine to be administered as boosters at least six months after completion of the primary Pfizer-BioNTech series in certain populations. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is meeting on Thursday, September 23, from noon to 3pm ET to discuss a recommendation on booster shots.

Summary of Recent Changes

  • Updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant currently circulating in the United States.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

View Previous Updates

Choosing Safer Activities full PDF thumbnail
INFOGRAPHIC

If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

Text Version

Key Points

The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings. For related information for healthcare settings, visit Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Participate in many of the activities that they did before the pandemic; for some of these activities, they may choose to wear a mask.
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel and from self-quarantine after travel.
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible.

Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others. To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others: CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
    • Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you came into close contact with someone with COVID-19 get tested 3-5 days after the date of your exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
  • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.
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About the Delta Variant: Vaccines continue to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus that cause COVID-19, including this variant. Vaccines are highly effective against severe illness, but the Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than earlier forms of the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about variants in the US.

People who are immunocompromised should be counseled about the potential for reduced immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines and to follow current prevention measures (including wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others they don’t live with, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces) regardless of their vaccination status to protect themselves against COVID-19 until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.

Overview

Currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Fully vaccinated people are less likely to become infected and, if infected, to develop symptoms of COVID-19. They are at substantially reduced risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 compared with unvaccinated people.

Infections in fully vaccinated people (breakthrough infections) happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. Moreover, when these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can be infectious and can spread the virus to others.

For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson [J&J]/Janssen). There is currently no post-vaccination time limit on fully vaccinated status. People are considered not fully vaccinated if they have not completed a two-dose vaccination series or have not received a single-dose vaccine, regardless of age, including children under the age of 12.

Data suggest immune response to COVID-19 vaccination might be reduced in some immunocompromised people including, but not limited to, people receiving chemotherapy for cancer, people with hematologic cancers such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia, people receiving stem cells or organ transplants, people receiving hemodialysis, and people using certain medications that might blunt the immune response to vaccination (e.g.,  mycophenolate, rituximab, azathioprine, anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies, Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors).

People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.

People who are immunocompromised should be counseled about the potential for reduced immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines and the need to continue to follow current prevention measures (including wearing a maskstaying 6 feet apart from others they don’t live with, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces) to protect themselves against COVID-19 until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider. Close contacts of immunocompromised people should also be encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

This guidance provides recommendations for fully vaccinated people, including:

  • How fully vaccinated people can safely resume many activities while protecting others.
  • How fully vaccinated people should approach domestic and international travel.
  • How fully vaccinated people should approach isolation, quarantine, and testing.

CDC will continue to evaluate and update public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people as more information, including on Delta and other new variants, becomes available. Further information on evidence and considerations related to these recommendations is available in the Science Brief.

Guiding Principles for Fully Vaccinated People

  • Outdoor activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people.
  • Most indoor activities pose low risk to fully vaccinated people, especially in areas with low or moderate transmission.
  • Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant.
  • Fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant can transmit it to others.

To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
    • Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Get tested 3-5 days after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until they receive a negative test result.
  • Continue to follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.

Recommendations for Indoor Settings

Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe disease, and death is reduced for fully vaccinated people. Though they happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, some infections do occur among fully vaccinated people. Fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can transmit it to others. Therefore, fully vaccinated people can further reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and transmitting it to others by wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission. Wearing a mask in public is most important for people who are immunocompromised. Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People at increased risk for severe disease includes older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions. Members of the household who are unvaccinated include: any persons who have not completed vaccination, who cannot be vaccinated, and those who are not eligible for vaccines, including children less than 12 years of age. Fully vaccinated people should also continue to wear a mask where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance, and in correctional facilities and homeless shelters. Prevention measures are still recommended for unvaccinated people.

CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies in place.

Recommendations for Outdoor Settings

Current data suggest the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in outdoor settings is minimal. In general, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors. Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised.

Travel

Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread SARS-CoV-2 and can now travel at low risk to themselves within the United States. International travelers need to pay close attention to the situation at their international destinations before traveling due to the spread of new variants and because the burden of COVID-19 varies globally.

Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).

Domestic travel (within the United States or to a U.S. territory)

  • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get a SARS-CoV-2 viral test before or after domestic travel, unless testing is required by local, state, or territorial health authorities.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine following domestic travel.
  • For more information, see Domestic Travel During COVID-19.

International travel

  • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested before leaving the United States unless required by their destination.
  • Fully vaccinated air travelers coming to the United States from abroad, including U.S. citizens, are still required to have a negative SARS-CoV-2 viral test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States.
  • International travelers arriving in the United States are still recommended to get a SARS-CoV-2 viral test 3-5 days after travel regardless of vaccination status.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine in the United States following international travel.
  • For more information, see International Travel During COVID-19.

Recommendations for Isolation, Quarantine and Testing

The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings. Guidance for residents and staff of healthcare settings can be found in the Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination.

Fully vaccinated people with COVID-19 symptoms

Although the risk that fully vaccinated people could become infected with COVID-19 is low, any fully vaccinated person who experiences symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should isolate themselves from others, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, and tested for SARS-CoV-2 if indicated. The symptomatic fully vaccinated person should inform their healthcare provider of their vaccination status at the time of presentation to care.

Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19

Fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days following the date of their exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. They should isolate if they test positive. Fully vaccinated people who live in a household with someone who is immunosuppressed, at increased risk of severe disease, or unvaccinated (including children <12 years of age) could also consider masking at home for 14 days following a known exposure or until they receive a negative test result. Most fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine or be restricted from work following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, if they follow the testing and masking recommendation above.

Fully vaccinated people should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure.

Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19-like symptoms and no known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19

It is recommended that fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19-like symptoms and no known exposure should be exempted from routine screening testing programs, if feasible.

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For Healthcare and Public Health

COVID-19 Clinical and Professional Resources

This guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. This guidance can also be applied to COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g. AstraZeneca/Oxford).

  • Guiding principles for fully vaccinated people are now provided.
  • Underscores that immunocompromised people need to consult their healthcare provider about these recommendations, even if fully vaccinated.
  • Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
  • Clarification that fully vaccinated workers no longer need to be restricted from work following an exposure as long as they are asymptomatic.
  • Fully vaccinated residents of non-healthcare congregate settings no longer need to quarantine following a known exposure.
  • Fully vaccinated asymptomatic people without an exposure may be exempted from routine screening testing, if feasible.

Previous Updates

As of July 27, 2021

  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.

As of July 16, 2021

  • Updated considerations for people who are immunocompromised

As of July 12, 2021

  • Updated Choosing Safer Activities infographic with new considerations for the example activity for outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.