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Fully vaccinated no longer required to wear masks or maintain physical distancing – WA full reopening date set

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee during a televised press conference (May 13, 2021). Source: TVW
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee during a televised press conference (May 13, 2021). Source: TVW

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A maskless Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced during a televised press conference yesterday he would allow the entire state to move to Phase 3 of the “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” plan beginning May 18th and then a “full reopening” would occur by June 30th.

The full reopening could happen earlier than June 30th, Inslee said, if 70% or more of Washingtonians over the age of 16 initiate the vaccination process. 56% of Washingtonians have currently completed or initiated the vaccination process according to Inslee.

Phase 3 provides for most indoor activities and public spaces to operate at 50% capacity. The “full reopening” would allow for that to increase to 100%, Inslee said.

Inslee warned if statewide hospital intensive care unit (ICU) capacity reached 90% at any point, a return to restrictions could be expected.

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Inslee added Washington’s state of emergency would not be lifted when the state moved to full reopening.

The Governor also said that while businesses will continue to retain the right to require customers wear masks, the state would immediately be “fully adopting” masking guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday. That guidance states “fully vaccinated” people are no longer required to wear a mask or maintain 6-foot physical distancing from others while able resume activities that were normally done before the pandemic. Fully vaccinated occurs 2 weeks after having received a single-dose vaccine or the second dose in a 2-dose vaccine.

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