The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eased guidelines for those who are fully vaccinated on Tuesday, saying they can go outside without a mask in most cases.
The health authority stopped short of altogether telling individuals they can go out without a mask, maintaining face masks are still needed when in large crowds amid concerns about virus transmission as well as uncertainty regarding the vaccination status of others in the crowd.
There is, however, no need for a mask when dining outdoors with friends of multiple households, said the CDC.
It urged people to take into consideration the spread of COVID-19 in their community when making decisions about outdoor and indoor activities.
Masks are still recommended for a variety of indoor activities regardless of an individual's vaccination status, including riding public transportation, visiting barbers, and worship services.
The US remains the hardest-hit country by the pandemic with over 32 million confirmed infections and more than 572,000 virus-related fatalities.
Nearly 30% of the population has been fully vaccinated while 40% has received at least one dose, according to CDC data.