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America sees an easing of mask-wearing for those fully vaccinated

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America is seeing an easing of mask wearing rules for those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention announced the new regulation yesterday, which allows those inoculated against the coronavirus, to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. US President Joe Biden, who held a press conference without wearing a mask, to announce the new rule.

“Today is a great day for America. If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask. Get vaccinated — or wear a mask until you do.”

The new rule still includes wearing a mask in crowded indoor areas such as buses, prisons, homeless shelters, and planes. But the relaxed rule will now help set the stage for other venues, workplaces, and schools to reopen sans social distancing requirements. Recently, the intense vaccination campaign has been considered, by some, to be successful as infection amounts in the US are the lowest since last September. Deaths are also the lowest since last April of 2020.

But as to how businesses or employees are supposed to know who has been fully vaccinated, remains unclear. Marc Perrone, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, says it is too much for essential workers to be forced to play mask police for shoppers who may be unvaccinated and also refuse to mask up. Biden has only seemed to offer advice instead of a plan for the issue.

“We’ve gotten this far — please protect yourself until you get to the finish line.”

He admitted that most of the population under 65 years old has not been fully vaccinated, and that the government wouldn’t enforce mask wearing on them. Biden said that he believes the American people want to take care of their neighbours.

“We’re not going to go out and arrest people. If you haven’t been vaccinated, wear your mask for your own protection and the protection of the people who also have not been vaccinated yet.”

But, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn’t budging on removing the mandatory mask wearing rule on the House floor. When CNN asked if she would follow the newly announced regulation, her response was not in favour of supporting it.

“No. Are they all vaccinated?”

Despite the CDC’s announcement that Americans could relax their mask wearing, if vaccinated, America is the odd one out as the rest of the world is still battling the pandemic with strict mandates. And, just a few weeks ago, the CDC contradicted its recent announcement by recommending that even those who are fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks in all types of indoor settings, and in crowds, if outdoors.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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