Vaccinated people don't need to quarantine after Covid-19 exposure, says US health authority

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts out new guidelines as global vaccinations continue

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 10: A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Jesus Huerta outside the Los Angeles Mission located in the Skid Row community on February 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles Department of Health's Housing for Health division administered the doses to a select group of eligible people including unhoused seniors. Skid Row is home to thousands of people who either live on the streets or in shelters for the homeless.   Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP

People who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone who has Covid-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday in updated guidelines.

"Fully vaccinated persons who meet criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with Covid-19," the CDC said.

The criteria included that the people exposed to Covid-19 were fully vaccinated, exposure was within three months of the last dose and they have remained asymptomatic since the current exposure, according to the agency.

The CDC and the Biden administration have been working with states to ramp up Covid-19 vaccinations, saying the goal is to "overwhelm the problem".

Thus far, the CDC says it has delivered 66 million doses and administered 44.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

As US cases begin to plummet and vaccinations pick up, however, the CDC and President Joe Biden have urged caution and vigilance warned that numbers of cases are still very high.

Doctors like those at the CDC and Dr Anthony Fauci, who advises the president and also heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have suggested that Americans double up on masks in order to guard against the new British variant of the virus that is gaining momentum.

The updated guidance follows new research from the CDC which tested various masks and found that combining a cloth mask over a surgical mask could dramatically reduce both the spread of the virus to others and exposure to the virus oneself.