Young adults, fully vaccinated against COVID-19, pick up food from a buffet at a small outdoor gathering.

The Do’s and Don'ts After Being Fully Vaccinated

May 14, 2021

First and foremost, what does it mean to be fully vaccinated? People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose series –– the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines –– or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine –– the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. According to CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear face masks or socially distance in most indoor and outdoor settings. This recommendation can be overruled by federal, state, and local regulations, including small businesses and workplace guidelines.

What can fully vaccinated people start doing?

The following recommendations are for non-healthcare settings. Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Meet inside homes and other buildings with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or social distancing.
  • Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks or social distancing, unless any of those people has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Assemble or participate in activities outdoors without wearing a face covering except in certain crowded arenas.
  • Travel in the United States without getting tested or self-quarantining before or after travel.
  • Travel internationally, but pay close attention to the situation at your international destination.
    • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
    • You do need to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery before boarding an international flight back to the United States.
    • You should get tested 3-5 days after traveling internationally.
    • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine or get tested unless you have symptoms. However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) you should still get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.


What should fully vaccinated people avoid doing?

While at indoor public spaces, the vaccination status of others or whether they are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness is likely unknown. Therefore, fully vaccinated people can choose to continue to wear a well-fitted mask, wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, and follow any applicable guidance. Guidance from the CDC shows that receiving the vaccine reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19, as well as preventing serious illness.

What are the recommendations for testing and quarantining for fully vaccinated people?

While the risk of being infected with COVID-19 is low, any fully vaccinated person experiencing symptoms consistent with the virus should isolate themselves from others and be tested. The fully vaccinated person should inform their healthcare provider of their vaccination status when receiving care for COVID-19 symptoms.

If a fully vaccinated person has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, they do not need to be tested or quarantined following exposure. However, they should still monitor themselves for symptoms up to 14 days after exposure.

One person receiving a COVID-19 vaccine gets us one step closer to achieving herd immunity against the disease. And this puts us one step closer to ending the pandemic.

CDC | When You've Been Fully Vaccinated
CDC | Interim Public Health Recommendations For Fully Vaccinated People

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