The relaxation of measures such as the use of masks or physical distancing, daily since the beginning of the pandemic by covid-19, could begin to relax a year later thanks to the effects of immunization by vaccination. This has been reflected by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) in a communiqué in which it sets out some guidelines for adapting measures to the new situation in meetings between individuals, households or social bubbles.

Thus, “when fully vaccinated individuals meet with other fully vaccinated individuals,” explains the ECDC, “physical distancing and the use of masks can be relaxed”. Likewise, when meeting with unvaccinated individuals, these measures may be relaxed “provided that no one present has a risk factor for serious disease,” adds the European body.

However, they should be maintained in public spaces and at large gatherings, “regardless of the vaccination status of the persons,” the ECDC clarifies. In addition, these recommendations may also affect PCR testing requirements and travel quarantines, which, the statement says, “in some situations (…) may be waived or adjusted for fully vaccinated individuals.” In addition, public health authorities may also consider exempting those already vaccinated from retesting in occupational settings.

ECDC Director Andrea Ammon is “encouraged” that evidence-based recommendations for immunization allow for the relaxation of these measures, although, she cautions, “it must be done gradually and be based on a careful assessment of the risks involved,” she said in a statement Wednesday.

“We are confident that increased vaccination coverage will have a positive and direct impact on the return to normal life,” Ammon concludes.

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