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Friday, June 25, 2021

New mask guidance prompts celebration, confusion

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New mask guidance prompts celebration, confusion
New mask guidance prompts celebration, confusion

Some Americans reacted warily on Friday to new federal guidance allowing people to go without masks in most places, suggesting that many do not feel safe enough yet from COVID-19 to lose their face coverings.

Gavino Garay reports.

REPORTER: "Are you enjoying your first day without masks?" BIDEN (back to camera): "Yes!" U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday said he was enjoying new mask guidance from the CDC - as were many vaccinated Americans who were told the day before that they no longer needed to mask up outdoors and indoors in most cases.

But amid the celebration - was plenty of confusion as well.

"I think maybe it's best to keep it on, until everyone else collectively decides." Jackson Mingle said he was vaccinated but not quite ready to shed the mask until it becomes common practice.

Jeri Kelly, visited D.C.

From Oregon, said she couldn't be sure if someone without a mask was actually vaccinated.

"I am just concerned that the next person, how honest are they going to be." The CDC's sudden shift in guidance left many questions unanswered - When can Americans go to the gym without a mask?

Or walk into a restaurant - or a baseball game without one?

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said implementation will be left to the state and local level.

“We also understand that private sector companies may decide that they want to have requirements.

That’s up to them to make that determination.

If you are running a stadium.

If you are running a sports team or something like that.

You have different considerations.

We fully respect that.

But we have no plans to change our approach from the federal government.” U.S. supermarket chain Kroger Co said it will continue to require customers to wear masks.

Trader Joe's, said it would immediately drop its mask mandate for customers who are fully vaccinated.

In many parts of the United States, people have not been wearing masks for months.

Bars in Miami, for example, have been serving mask-less customers for weeks.

There are caveats.

The looser mask guidance does not apply to certain situations such as public transportation and prisons.

There is also no approved U.S. COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 11 and younger.

But U.S. officials hope the new freedoms afforded to vaccinated people will convince holdouts to get the shot, too.


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