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CDC New Mask Guidance & United Mask Updates

Date: April 30, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled updated guidelines this past week detailing activities that vaccinated people can safely resume, including attending small outdoor gatherings without the need to wear a mask.

The new "interim public health recommendations" detail a variety of situations in which individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can forgo wearing a mask, but urged the continued use of face coverings in most indoor settings and in crowded outdoor areas.

The new guidelines suggest that fully vaccinated individuals continue wearing masks:

  • When in public spaces,
  • When gathering indoors with unvaccinated people from more than one household,
  • When visiting unvaccinated high-risk individuals or,
  • In an outdoor setting or venue where masks are required.

The updated CDC guidance recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.

Although the CDC released updated guidance expanding the number of outdoor activities it considers safe for fully vaccinated people, United’s face covering/mask policy remains unchanged.

While the CDC’s recommendations are encouraging, the federal mandate remains in place. The Federal mask mandate on planes and in airports, signed by President Biden in January, was set to expire on May 11.  Because the pandemic is still a dangerous part of our lives, our efforts to have the mandate extended were achieved earlier today.  See our article about this vital update below.

As a reminder, a U.S. federal law requires face masks at airports and on-board aircraft to, from and within the United States and its territories. This law aligns with United’s even more comprehensive global mask policy. Noncompliance with the law carries potential criminal and civil penalties.

Reminders in the security directive:

  • Exceptions do not apply to people for whom mask wearing is merely difficult or inconvenient.
  • Those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine are not exempt from the mask requirement.
  • Masks must be worn between bites and sips while eating and drinking.

For more information, please contact your Local Council’s AFA Safety, Health & Security Committee.

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