Vaccinated can go maskless outside, except in crowds

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: "Beginning today, gathering with a group of friends in a park, going for a picnic, as long as you are vaccinated and outdoors, you can do it without a mask."

U.S. President Joe Biden announced outside the White House on Tuesday that Americans who are fully vaccinated can go without masks outdoors except in crowded settings.

BIDEN: "I want to be absolutely clear. If you're in a crowd, like a stadium or at a conference or a concert, you still need to wear a mask even if you're outside."

The updated health advice comes as more than half of all adults in the U.S. have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC DIRECTOR DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY: "Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before."

Earlier, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky called the new guidelines a "first step" in helping fully vaccinated Americans resume activities they had stopped because of the pandemic.

The use of masks outdoors has been under increased debate in recent weeks in the U.S. as Americans look to enjoy the benefits of being fully vaccinated.

BIDEN: "We’ve made stunning progress because of all of you."

Biden thanked Americans who have been vaccinated for doing what he called their "patriotic duty" and, with the issue of vaccine hesitancy in mind, said the new mask guidelines were another reason to get vaccinated.

BIDEN: "So, for those who haven't gotten their vaccination, especially if you're younger or thinking you don't need it, this is another great reason to go get vaccinated. Now."

According to a Reuters analysis of state and county data, new coronavirus cases dropped 16% in the last week, the biggest percentage drop in weekly new cases since February.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Beginning today, gathering with a group of friends in a park, going for a picnic, as long as you are vaccinated and outdoors, you can do it without a mask.

- US President Joe Biden announced outside the White House on Tuesday that Americans who are fully vaccinated can go without masks outdoors, except in crowded settings.

JOE BIDEN: I want to be absolutely clear. If you're in a crowd, like a stadium or at a conference, or a concert, you still need to wear a mask even if you're outside.

- The updated health advice comes as more than half of all adults in the US have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before.

- Earlier, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky called the new guidelines a first step in helping fully vaccinated Americans resume activities they had stopped because of the pandemic. The use of masks outdoors has been under increased debate in recent weeks in the US as Americans look to enjoy the benefits of being fully vaccinated.

JOE BIDEN: We've made stunning progress because of all of you, the American people.

- Biden thanked Americans who have been vaccinated for doing what he called their patriotic duty. And with the issue of vaccine hesitancy in mind, said the new mask guidelines were another reason to get vaccinated.

JOE BIDEN: So for those who haven't gotten their vaccination yet, especially if you're younger or think you don't need it, this is another great reason to go get vaccinated now.

- According to a Reuters analysis of state and county data, new coronavirus cases dropped 16% in the last week, the biggest percentage drop in weekly new cases since February.