CDC Issues New Mask Guidelines For Fully-Vaccinated Americans That Allow Maskless Gatherings Outdoors; Good News For Actors, Film And TV Productions

Just as the weather warms up the CDC has issued new masking guidance for Americans. A key takeaway from the release is that fully-vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues. Specifically, masks should still be worn at a crowded outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports event.

Case in point: This Sunday’s giant Vax Live concert at the new SoFi stadium in Los Angeles is limiting the crowd to fully-vaccinated residents. According to instructions posted on Ticketmaster, attendees must wear masks, show their vaccination card and an ID to prove who they are.

Restaurants, however, are a different story. The guidance says that fully vaccinated people may dine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households. See chart below.

What this means for TV and film productions, which would seem to fall in between those two examples, remains to be seen. The guidance says that Americans are safe to attend small, outdoor gatherings with fully-vaccinated family and friends without a mask. Assuming most workers on a film and TV set are vaccinated and the production is using the zone model, this would seem to open the way to maskless outdoor shoots and maybe even small crowd scenes.

The guidance also may give actors some mental relief as the CDC strictures seem to offer more assurance about performing maskless in a small group setting — so long as everyone is vaccinated.

However, the CDC does warn that risk increases, even for the fully vaccinated, during “activities that involve behaviors such as singing, shouting, physical exertion or heavy breathing, inability to wear a mask, or inability to maintain physical distancing.”

It’s unclear how soon these recommendations could become codified in the industry protocols that govern film and TV production, but the CDC does recommend workers continue to “follow guidance issued by individual employers.” States and counties could also weigh in.

Here are additional specifics from the CDC announcement, which say fully-vaccinated Americans may:

-Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
-Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
-Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
-Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
-Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
-Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
-Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
-Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible

Those final five bullet points are certainly good news to Hollywood types traveling for work, not to mention productions on location.

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