CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidance for Mask Wearing on Outdoor Transit Hubs, Public Transportation

Fully vaccinated Americans can now ditch their masks in outdoor transit hubs and on outdoor public transportation, the Centers for Disease Control said in updated guidance issued Thursday.

The new recommendations apply to any outdoor transportation areas, like outside an airport or a bus stop, as well as outdoor areas of public transportation, like the deck of a ferry or an open-air trolley.

Unvaccinated travelers should still continue to wear their masks in all public transportation-related areas, indoors and outdoors, the agency noted.

"CDC will continue to evaluate the requirements of its Order and determine whether additional changes may be warranted," the agency wrote. "While those who are fully vaccinated may resume many activities without wearing a mask, the travel environment presents a unique set of circumstances based on the number and close interaction of travelers (both vaccinated and unvaccinated)."

The updated guidance comes weeks after the CDC said fully vaccinated people don't have to wear their masks outdoors and in many indoor situations. Masks are still required on planes and inside airports, regardless of a person's vaccination status – a rule that has been extended until at least September.

The CDC has said fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves and don't need to quarantine upon returning from an international or domestic trip, and has loosened cruise restrictions for vaccinated travelers (like allowing them to explore ports on their own rather than book a shore excursion through the cruise line).

When it comes to vaccine progress, 64% of Americans 18 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 53.4% are considered fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

So far, ABC News reported 13 states have vaccinated at least 70% of their adult populations with at least one dose: Pennsylvania, Vermont, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Washington, Maryland, and California.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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