The U.S. new crown epidemic has slowed dramatically, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcing a relaxation of the mask requirement so that fully vaccinated individuals can go outdoors without wearing a mask.
According to the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the new mask requirement is due to an increase in vaccinations, a decline in infections and hospitalizations, and research showing that less than 10 percent of outdoor transmission of the new coronavirus occurs, with most cases occurring indoors. I hope now is another step in our return to normalcy,” she said. We’ve spent a lot of time over the past year telling you what you can’t do, and today, I’m going to tell you what you can do – if you’ve been fully vaccinated.”
Under the CDC’s new rules, regardless of whether one is fully vaccinated, one does not have to wear a mask when walking, hiking, biking, running alone or with family members outdoors; nor can one wear a mask at small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people, except with large numbers of strangers
More than half of all adults in the United States, or about 140 million people, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than one-third of adults have been fully vaccinated. Experts say the CDC’s new rule is an incentive for those who get vaccinated, and federal health officials hope it will encourage more people to get vaccinated.
The New York Times also reported that Americans who complete the new crown vaccine will be able to travel to EU member states this summer. The news was confirmed by European Commission President Von der Leyen. Von der Leyen said: All 27 member states of the European Union will unconditionally accept all people who have received the vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency, which is encouraging for the resumption of international travel and revitalization of tourism in both Europe and the United States.
Von der Leyen still has not set a timeline for reopening the EU to the U.S., but she is certain that the U.S. is on track to reach its herd immunization goal by mid-June.
The EU began banning non-essential travel by Americans to EU member states more than a year ago. According to Andy Slavitt, senior White House adviser on immunization, von der Leyen’s comments reflect the EU’s endorsement of the U.S. vaccination campaign.