12:01 GMT24 June 2021
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    Since late April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local authorities have begun lifting the restrictions imposed due to the raging novel coronavirus pandemic, including allowing fully vaccinated people to be outdoors, and also in some cases indoors, without masks.

    The CDC said on Saturday that schools in the United States should continue to use masks for the 2020-2021 academic year because not all students will be completely vaccinated.

    According to the CDC's new guidance released on Saturday, all kindergarten-through-grade-12 schools should "should implement and layer prevention strategies and should prioritize universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing." 

    The CDC rules that masks should be worn at all times in school buildings and buses, with a six-foot (approximately 1.8 meters) space between teachers and students.

    The announcement follows the release of the CDC's updated regulations on Thursday that completely vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outside and may stop wearing them indoors in most cases. The CDC also added that completely immunized people would not need to physically distance themselves in most areas, in the hopes of encouraging more Americans to get vaccinated.

    Following that, US President Joe Biden appeared in his address from the White House not wearing any mask, praising a "great milestone" of no longer needing to abide by the restrictions if one is fully vaccinated. 

    Earlier this week, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved by US regulators for use in children as young as 12 years of age.

    Biden welcomed this decision, saying that it was "a promising development in our fight against the virus."

    According to existing scientific data, the majority of children with COVID-19 experience only minor symptoms, if any, although that does not mean that children have no risk of becoming seriously ill or spreading the virus. Some surges in daily cases have still been linked to sporting events and other activities involving children in this age group.


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