HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — If you’re fully vaccinated, it’s now safe to go outdoors without wearing a mask, with some exceptions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the new guidelines Tuesday.

READ MORE: President Biden Makes Vaccination Push As Concerns Over Delta Variant Increase

The president says this is another great reason to go get vaccinated now. It may be the biggest incentive yet.

It’s been drilled into our heads during times of COVID — covering your face could save a life.

“Every time, every time, just to be safe,” one person told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.

“I think people now are used to it,” another person said.

But if fully vaccinated, friends can now take off their masks while they go for a walk and take in some sunshine along the waterfront in Hoboken.


After 100 days in office, the Biden administration is relaxing outdoor recommendations.

“Starting today, if you’re fully vaccinated and you’re outdoors and not in a big crowd, you no longer need to wear a mask,” President Joe Biden announced Tuesday.

You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving your second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or two weeks after receiving your one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The CDC says fully vaccinated people can now take off masks while:

  • walking, running, hiking or biking.
  • attending small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated.
  • dining at outdoor restaurants with friends from multiple households.

Masks are still recommend at crowded outdoor events like concerts, and you still need to wear a mask indoors.

“Until more people are vaccinated and while we still have more than 50,000 cases a day, mask use indoors will provide extra protection,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “We also know that there’s almost a 20-fold increased risk of transmission in the indoor setting [versus] the outdoor setting.”

The president says the decision is rooted in science.

READ MORE: New York Scaling Back Mass COVID Vaccination Sites, Adding Pop-Ups At Early Voting Locations

Many say the mask has become second nature, and the guidance won’t change how they go about their day that much.

“I’m still gonna wear it because at the end of the day, there’s other people that haven’t gotten vaccinated and that virus could still spread in certain ways,” Jersey City resident Ronaldo Nieto said.

“I still think there’s a risk,” another person said.

Others already ditch the mask in trusted places with trusted people.

“I feel safe. It’s not a lot of people, not a big crowd,” Union resident Maria Aksenova said.

“It’s just common sense,” one person said. “If you see people coming your way, keep it on.”

Still in the midst of a pandemic, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated each vaccinated person needs to do what makes them comfortable.

“I think a lot of people will still choose to, or at least a lot of the time will choose to,” he said.

The mayor says so much of it depends on the circumstance.


The new recommendations come during a drastic drop in vaccinations, which are down 20% from their peak earlier in April. That drop is believed to be in part due to hesitancy after the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Seventeen people, including the first man, have reported rare but dangerous blood clots.

There was, however, good turnout at a J&J clinic in Hoboken on Tuesday.

“All of the appointments filled, so it’s a very good sign that people are receptive,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said.

One hundred people were able to overcome any lingering concerns about the single-dose vaccine, although the turnout was overwhelmingly men.

Erin Rogers and Josh Mead were both looking forward to feeling safer around family.

“Having that peace of mind is really nice,” Mead said.

“I wanna try to get back to some type of normalcy, and this is gonna help us get there,” Rogers said.

New York is on its way. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says 45% of New Yorkers have gotten at least one dose, and 32% are fully vaccinated.

MORE NEWS: New Jersey Hits COVID Vaccination Milestone 2 Weeks Early

CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team