How the New CDC Guidelines Affect Meetings

CDC guidelines

The new CDC guidelines for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are a positive step toward restarting meetings.

The CDC guidelines includes recommendations for how and when a fully vaccinated individual can visit with other people who are fully vaccinated and not vaccinated. They also include travel recommendations. Here are few highlights:

• For the first time since the pandemic began, there is a green light for people to meet in small groups without needing masks once they all are fully vaccinated. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.

• The size of indoor gatherings is still determined by the individual states, with wide ranges among them. On March 22 in Massachusetts, for example, gathering limits for event venues will be relaxed to accommodate up to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors, while Texas Governor Greg Abbott last week did away with all gathering limits throughout his state.

• People are now able to refrain from quarantine and testing if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 after contact with someone who has COVID-19.

• Recommendations are still in place to wear a well-fitted mask; maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet; and avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.

• Non-essential travel is still not recommended in this round of CDC guidelines. The big question is whether the United States will eventually roll out a travel passport of some sort. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is testing the IATA Travel Pass, a digital health pass that will include a traveler’s test and vaccination certificates. Singapore Air will be the first airline to launch the travel pass on March 15.

 See this updated CDC list of travel risk by country.

So far, CDC estimates that just 9.2 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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