People who are fully vaccinated in Berkeley no longer need to wear a mask when they’re outside, except in crowds or certain venues, after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidelines for mask use and vaccinated residents.

It’s a big shift from previous mandates that required masks when within 6 feet of another person even outside. Both the state and the city of Berkeley are aligning with the CDC’s move, which applies to anyone who is two weeks past a second dose for Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, or two weeks past the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine.

If you’re fully vaccinated, here’s what you can do without a mask:

  • Visit other fully vaccinated people indoors without physical distancing
  • Visit one unvaccinated household indoors without physical distancing
  • Attend small outdoor gatherings with both vaccinated and unvaccinated people
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation

Here’s when you still have to wear a mask, even when fully vaccinated:

  • Visiting an unvaccinated person who is at high risk for severe COVID-19
  • During indoor gatherings with both vaccinated and unvaccinated people
  • While outdoors in a crowded setting, like a music festival or sporting event
  • Any activity indoors with the general public, like shopping, going to the movies, getting a haircut, attending a full-capacity exercise class

The CDC says anyone who is immunocompromised should consult their healthcare providers about higher-risk activities, even if they’re vaccinated.

So far, about 72% of Berkeley adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Alameda County Public Health Department, and nearly 50% are fully vaccinated.

a CDC chart that describes activities people can do safely without masks once they're fully vaccinated in Berkeley
The CDC describes a range of risk for several activities, while masked and unmasked, for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. People who are fully vaccinated can now do many activities safely while unmasked. Credit: CDC

Featured photo credit: gina g10

Supriya Yelimeli is a housing and homelessness reporter for Berkeleyside and joined the staff in May 2020 after contributing reporting since 2018 as a freelance writer. Yelimeli grew up in Fremont and...