Speed Reads

'you don't have to wear it'

Fauci assures Gayle King it's really okay for vaccinated people to go maskless outside

Yes, fully vaccinated people really don't need to wear a mask outside anymore except for in "very unusual" situations, Dr. Anthony Fauci says.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with CBS' Gayle King on Thursday about wearing masks outside after being fully vaccinated, which the CDC has said is no longer necessary. But King observed that many vaccinated people still feel pressure to wear their mask outdoors or are unsure whether it's truly "time" to remove them.

Fauci, though, assured King that going maskless outdoors after being fully vaccinated is safe.

"We've gotta make that transition," Fauci said. "If you are vaccinated, you don't have to wear a mask outside."

This is with the exception of a "very unusual situation," Fauci noted, where a person might be "going into a completely crowded situation where people are essentially falling all over each other," in which case a mask would still be necessary outside even after being vaccinated.

"But any other time, if you're vaccinated and you're outside, put aside your mask," Fauci said. "You don't have to wear it."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month revised its guidelines to say that vaccinated people generally no longer need to wear masks outside, though the guidelines did note masks should still be worn outside in crowded situations, such as a large event. The CDC also said vaccinated people can attend small outdoor gatherings or dine outdoors with people from multiple households without masks. Earlier this week, Fauci said that as more people get vaccinated, "we do need to start being more liberal" with mask rules, and when asked if it's time to relax indoor mask mandates, he said, "I think so." Brendan Morrow