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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The White House emailed staff on Thursday saying those who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus are no longer required to wear face masks on the premises.

Why it matters: The move follows new COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC which allow fully vaccinated people to participate in indoor and outdoor activities without masks or physically distancing.

  • "If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House press briefing.

Go deeper

Aug 20, 2021 - Health

CDC recommends COVID-19 high-risk groups avoid cruise ships

Royal Caribbean cruise ship is seen on the Hudson River in New York City. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said that travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from the coronavirus should avoid traveling on cruises.

State of play: The CDC also said that individuals who are not fully vaccinated should avoid taking cruises. Additionally, unvaccinated passengers should self-quarantine for at least seven days after cruise travel, even if they test negative.

Aug 20, 2021 - Health

America's patchwork back-to-school plan

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Conflicting policies, fiery political debates and the continued spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 are sowing chaos and uncertainty into the back-to-school season.

Why it matters: This will be the third school year in a row with COVID-related disruptions. Many students have already suffered severe learning loss, and the gap between students could grow even wider, thanks to disparities in vaccinations and rising case counts.

Aug 20, 2021 - Health

FDA expected to grant full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine next week

Vial of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to grant full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine early next week, sources told Axios on Friday.

Why it matters: It would be the first COVID-19 shot to receive full authorization from the federal government.