By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP, Health Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health
Thank you for choosing to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated! You are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, or two weeks after your single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Is it OK to gather with people outside my household who also are fully vaccinated?
Yes, if you and your friends or family are fully vaccinated, you can safely meet outdoors or indoors at your home without masks or social distancing.
Can I go to a restaurant, attend a concert, or sporting event?
In indoor settings outside of one’s home, including public transportation, stores, workplaces and schools, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status.
Generally, keep in mind that no vaccine offers 100% protection. We must maintain caution, especially as we learn more about the variants of the virus and how much the vaccine protects against these strains.
Do people need to continue wearing masks in public?
Face coverings are no longer required outdoors except at crowded events, and for unvaccinated people, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Can I travel for leisure or pleasure?
Yes, it is generally safe to travel once you are fully vaccinated. You should, however, wear a mask while using any public transportation, including on airplanes and in airports.
Take these precautions while traveling:
- Wear a well-fitted mask on public transportation and in public places.
- Avoid crowds and stay at least six feet away from anyone not traveling with you.
- Wash your hands often (or use hand sanitizer).
- Follow state and local recommendations or requirements.
- Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. If you develop them, isolate and get tested.
Is it alright to see family and friends who don’t yet have the vaccine, and socialize without my mask if I am fully vaccinated?
Yes, you can safely mingle with unvaccinated persons from another household without a mask or social distancing.
If you are fully vaccinated and visiting a single household of family or friends who are not yet vaccinated, and are at risk for severe COVID-19 due to age (65 or older) or health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell disease, or other specific conditions:
- All of you should wear well-fitted masks and stay six feet away from each other when indoors. If possible, hold the visit outdoors or in a well-ventilated space to reduce risk.
Mixing and mingling two or more households that have people who aren’t yet vaccinated raises the risk for getting the virus that causes COVID-19 for anyone who isn’t vaccinated.