Biden is set to loosen guidelines for wearing masks outside, report says

Biden
President Joe Biden

  • President Joe Biden is expected to announce updated mask-wearing guidance Tuesday, sources told CNN.
  • The update will likely address whether fully vaccinated people need to wear masks outside.
  • The risk of transmitting the coronavirus is much lower outdoors, and likely even lower for vaccinated folks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Americans can expect updates to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on outdoor mask-wearing tomorrow.

President Joe Biden will address the nation Tuesday, three inside sources told CNN. Although the specifics of the announcement are unclear, the president’s words will include an update on whether vaccinated people still need to wear masks outdoors.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical officer, hinted Sunday that updated guidance was on the way. He told George Stephanopoulos that evidence shows “outdoor risk is really, really quite low,” and that allowing vaccinated people to go outdoors without masks would be a “common sense” move.

“I believe what the country is going to be hearing soon is updated guidelines from the CDC,” Fauci told ABC News Sunday. “The data backs it up,” he said.

The risk of transmitting the coronavirus outdoors is much lower than in indoor spaces, experts recently told Insider’s Hilary Brueck. And the latest CDC data suggests people who have been fully vaccinated almost never carry COVID-19, and would therefore be unlikely to transmit it.

Currently, the CDC guidance says everyone should wear a mask in “public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.” Vaccinated folks can take off their masks when gathering with fully vaccinated groups indoors, but the agency has yet to address outdoor mask-wearing.

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