Can you dine out freely without a mask if you're fully vaccinated?

Last week, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated Americans do not need to wear face masks indoors, indicating a positive step forward in the COVID-19 pandemic for the nation.

However, this new guidance confused many on what this means for customers at restaurants and bars.

The agency reported that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

While there are no specific rules towards dining locations, industry owners now explain what this rule means for them.

The National Restaurant Association told Good Morning America that while the new rules are a promising step, “the Association won’t be immediately updating its COVID-19 Operating Guidance.”

“The announcement by the CDC that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors means that restaurant operators have the option of determining how best to enforce the new guidance,” Larry Lynch, the SVP of Science and Industry for the National Restaurant Association, said. “Because restaurants welcome people who are both vaccinated and not fully vaccinated, operators will still need to work with their state and local regulators to ensure they are in line with all other mandates in place.”

He added, “The restaurant industry has always placed a focus on the health and safety of our workforce and our customers, so we are encouraged by the CDC’s decision and the potential it has to help move the restaurant industry closer to being fully reopened in all communities where the virus is not an immediate threat.”

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