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CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Amr Alfiky-Pool/Getty Images

Fully vaccinated people can venture outdoors without masks, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Tuesday.

The big picture: The guidelines come as more than nearly 29% of people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated and more than 42% have received at least one dose.

  • 15 governors so far have let their state orders requiring people to wear face coverings in public expire, according to U.S. News. Many cities and local jurisdictions have also begun to increase capacity at restaurants and businesses.

Details: The guidance applies to fully vaccinated individuals, which health officials classify as two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Vaccinated people can unmask while:

  • Doing physical activities outdoors alone or with members of your household like walking, running, hiking or biking.
  • Attending a small outdoor gathering either with fully vaccinated people or a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
  • Dining at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households.
  • Current guidelines on vaccinated people indoors and traveling still apply.

Yes, but: It can be hard to assess every individual's risk for severe COVID-19 in mass public spaces or intimate public settings, the agency says and asks vaccinated people to wear masks in situations like:

  • Crowded outdoor events like live performances, parades or sporting events.
  • Indoor spaces like a barber or hair salon or a movie theater.
  • Attending a full capacity service at a house of worship and singing in an indoor chorus.
  • Visiting an uncrowded indoor shopping mall or museum.

What they're saying: "CDC cannot provide the specific risk level for every activity in every community, so it is important to consider your own personal situation and the risk to you, your family and your community before venturing out without a mask," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in prepared remarks.

What's next: President Biden will also mention the guidelines in remarks later on Tuesday, according to CNN.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the number of vaccine doses that have been administered.

Go deeper

State university systems begin requiring COVID-19 vaccines for fall

The University of California, Berkeley campus. Photo: Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Several state university systems and public universities have announced in the past week that they will require students returning to campuses in the fall to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: The expansion into state and public school systems will significantly boost the number of institutions requiring coronavirus vaccines.

Apr 27, 2021 - Health

Political leanings sway seniors' vaccine enthusiasm

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Seniors are more enthusiastic about the coronavirus vaccines than younger Americans, but even that high-risk population is still subject to some partisan divides, according to Axios-Ipsos polling over the last several months.

The big picture: In the most recent waves of our Axios-Ipsos survey, 85% of seniors said they had already been vaccinated, or were likely to get vaccinated.

Apr 27, 2021 - Health

Pfizer CEO: Oral drug to prevent COVID-19 could be ready next year

An oral antiviral drug to stop the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating could be ready next year "if all goes right," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC on Tuesday, adding that the drug should work against all variants of the virus.

Why it matters: Antiviral drugs can be a key pandemic-fighting tool, since not everyone will get a vaccine and it may take years to fully vaccinate people in certain countries around the world, Axios' Alison Snyder reports.