California officials announced on Tuesday they will allow residents to go out in public without requiring them to wear face masks, following a previous guideline from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but only if they have completed their coronavirus vaccine shots.

Fully vaccinated residents are allowed to go outdoors without their face masks unless they go into a big group of people, the CDC said. The agency also said unvaccinated individuals can go out without wearing face masks in specific situations.

New Health Guidelines

“We have reviewed and support the CDC’s new masking recommendations and are working quickly to align California’s guidance with these common-sense updates. While more than 50% of Californians 16+ are partially or fully vaccinated, many others are still not vaccinated, and the threat of the variants remains. We continue to urge all eligible Californians to get vaccinated to help us move past this pandemic,” Director of the California Department of Public Health Dr. Tomas Aragon said.

In recent days, California has recorded the lowest positivity rate for the coronavirus in the United States. State officials announced they have administered more than 28 million coronavirus vaccine doses and that 37% of the region’s eligible residents are fully vaccinated.

State officials stressed the need to continue following health guidelines despite having more than half of its eligible residents aged 16 and older partially or fully vaccinated. They encouraged people to wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

The CDC said unvaccinated people, those who have not complete both shots for Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccine, or got the one-shot inoculation from Johnson & Johnson, should always wear face masks when going outdoors, the San Francisco Gate reported.

However, for fully vaccinated people, the agency said they could forego the wearing of facial coverings during social gatherings except for big crowds, such as concerts or sporting events. Officials also recommend the use of face masks in any indoor activities such as salons or shopping malls.