Cheat sheet: CDC guidelines on what you can and can't do after being fully vaccinated

Once you get the COVID-19 vaccine and wait two weeks, the CDC has new guidance for socializing, travel and masking
As vaccinations continue to roll out, the Centers for Disease Control recently released guidelines on what people can do after they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Fully vaccinated means it's been two weeks since you've received your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks since you received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

Life may soon start to have a semblance of normalcy, but just because you're vaccinated doesn't mean you can run amok, living it up pre-pandemic style.

Here's a quick guide on what you can -- and still can't do -- after you're vaccinated, according to the CDC:


Can I see my friends and family once I'm fully vaccinated?
Yes! Don't throw a big party with everyone you know, but the CDC admits socializing becomes a lot safer once vaccines are involved. The guidelines differ based on whether the people you want to see are also vaccinated.
  • With vaccinated people, you can gather indoors without masks
  • With unvaccinated people, you can gather indoors without masks with members of one household only -- as long as none of your unvaccinated friends/family are at high risk. That means you still want to avoid seeing unvaccinated elderly people or those with underlying conditions that would make a potential COVID-19 infection particularly severe, just to be extra safe.

What about large gatherings?
The CDC is still advising against medium-sized and large gatherings, even if you're fully vaccinated.

What about hugs?
This is where your personal comfort with risk comes into play, but the risk of COVID-19 transmission with two fully vaccinated people is close to zero, so hugs should be pretty safe there. When one person is vaccinated and the other is low risk, hugging is also low risk with members of a single household.

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Do I have to wear a mask if I'm still vaccinated?
Being vaccinated doesn't exempt you from local and state ordinances on wearing masks or face coverings in public. While the CDC says you can socialize with members of one household indoors and unmasked, the agency still suggests wearing a mask when around lots of people, in public or running errands.

You should continue to wear a mask or face covering, plus practice 6-feet distancing when:
  • Socializing with people from more than one household indoors
  • Visiting with people who are at high risk for COVID-19 and unvaccinated
  • In public


Can I travel now that I'm fully vaccinated?
The CDC still suggests avoiding domestic and international travel that is not necessary. Many countries are still prohibiting U.S. citizens from entering.

If you do have to travel, you still need to follow any restrictions in place, such as wearing a mask on an airline or taking a PCR test before arriving (depending on destination).


Do I need to self-quarantine if I am exposed to COVID-19?
If you come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 and you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to self-quarantine if you have no symptoms.

If you start to have symptoms, you should self-quarantine and get tested, says the CDC.

See the full guidelines from the CDC here.
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