The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continued to advise wearing masks in crowded indoor settings such as buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask,” the mask-free president said, summarising the guidance and encouraging more Americans to roll up their sleeves. “Get vaccinated — or wear a mask until you do.”
The CDC and the Biden administration had faced pressure to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated people — those who are two weeks past their last required Covid-19 vaccine dose.
Meanwhile, Mr Biden has reassured motorists that fuel supplies should start returning to normal this weekend, despite more petrol stations running out of fuel across the southeast nearly a week after a cyberattack on America’s top fuel pipeline.
Colonial Pipeline said it had restarted its entire pipeline system and begun deliveries in all of its markets late on Thursday, but that it would take several days for shipments to return to normal along its 5,500-mile route.
Some markets “may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions”, it said in a statement, echoing earlier comments from the president, who said earlier there could be “hiccups”.