THURSDAY, May 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Fully vaccinated Americans can now skip face masks and social distancing in most indoor or outdoor settings, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

It is a long-awaited shift in guidance for Americans weary of more than a year under COVID-19 restrictions.

“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., said during a White House COVID-19 briefing. “We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”

Importantly, the new guidance does not apply to public transportation or health care settings, and some workplaces may still require masks.

More than 117 million Americans are now fully vaccinated, about 35 percent of the population, CDC data show. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last dose of vaccine.

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