When do I still need to wear a mask?

Dr. Fauci AdmitsHe Kept Wearing HisMask in Order to , Avoid ‘GivingMixed Signals’.On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on ‘Good MorningAmerica’ to talk about the CDC’s latest mask guidance. .Per their announcement,Americans who are fullyvaccinated against COVID-19can safely go maskless in mostindoor and outdoor settings.Dr. Fauci, who was fully vaccinated in January, saidthat his continued use of a face mask was by choice. .He didn’t want to giveany “mixed signals”before the CDC changedits recommendations. .I'm obviously careful because I'm aphysician and health care provider.I am now much more comfortablewith people seeing me indoorswithout a mask. Before the CDCmade the recommendation change,I didn't want to look like I wasgiving mixed signals, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to 'Good Morning America'.Dr. Fauci also said that additional data onvaccines and the protection they offer has made himfeel more comfortable going maskless. .The science that evolved over the lastfew weeks that prompted the CDC to makethe recommendation that people whowere vaccinated should feel safe and beable to go indoors and outdoors withouta mask relates to the evidence of howeffective these vaccines are… , Dr. Anthony Fauci, to 'Good Morning America'....not only in protecting you againstinfection, but even if you have abreakthrough infection, the chancesof you transmitting it to someone elseis extremely low, very very low. , Dr. Anthony Fauci, to 'Good Morning America'

It depends, mostly on whether or not you’re vaccinated.

If you’re fully vaccinated, the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in most situations. That includes when you’re outside and in many indoor spaces like restaurants, though you still need to follow any local or business rules.

Americans also still need a mask when traveling, including on buses, subways and planes and at airports. The guidance on masks will differ by country.

Some experts say the CDC is relaxing its recommendations too soon.

Part of the concern is that there’s no way to tell who’s vaccinated, so unvaccinated people could claim they got the shots and go maskless, said David Holtgrave, dean of the School of Public Health at University at Albany. That could cause cases to rise.

“A central mistake in public health is easing up infectious disease control efforts just before crossing the finish line,” he said.

Vaccinated people might also prefer to continue wearing their masks. Though chances are low, it’s still possible to get infected, even if symptoms are likely to be mild or nonexistent.

That’s why the CDC’s guidance says vaccinated people should put their masks back on and get tested if they end up developing symptoms.

There are other exceptions. Masks are still needed in select settings including hospitals and nursing homes. And if you have a weakened immune system because of a health condition or medications, the agency says to talk to your doctor before shedding your mask, since vaccines generally don’t work as well in people with weak immune systems.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last required shot.

If you’re not yet fully vaccinated, the CDC still recommends masks in most places outside your home. That includes indoor public spaces, crowded outdoor events like concerts and small outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people.

When you’re outdoors alone or with people from your household, the agency says unvaccinated people don’t need masks.

Since children younger than 12 aren’t yet eligible for COVID-19 shots, they should continue to wear masks indoors outside the home and in most public places like other unvaccinated people.