ATTENTION EMPLOYERS: The CDC Issues Interim Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

On Monday, March 8, 2021, the CDC issued long-awaited guidelines for “fully vaccinated” people, which are available HERE.

For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered “fully vaccinated” two or more weeks after they have received the second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or a single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen vaccine. The interim guidelines permit fully vaccinated people to:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 diseases indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure (e.g. “close contact”) if they are asymptomatic.While these interim guidelines may permit fully vaccinated individuals to relax some of the current restrictions in private settings, employers should not jump to changing safety protocols or quarantine rules at this time. As an initial matter, employers must still continue to follow current state and local Executive Orders that address workplace protocols as well as state and local quarantine guidance. In addition, in its interim guidance, the CDC noted that fully vaccinated individuals should continue to follow any guidance issued by their employers. Furthermore, the CDC, stated that fully vaccinated individuals should continue to follow a number of safety procedures, which include:

    1. Masks: Wearing well-fitted masks and physical distancing if they are:

    • in public;
    • visiting unvaccinated people with increased risk of severe COVID-19 or people who have an
    • unvaccinated person with increased risk for severe COVID-19 in their household; or
      visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households.

2. Travel Testing and Quarantine: Following CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations. (*It is important to note that the CDC’s travel quarantine guidance, which is available HERE, has not been modified at this time.)

3. Testing: Getting tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Importantly, employers may want to know if they can ask employees if they have been fully vaccinated in order to determine whether the employee must quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure. The EEOC has previously said yes, that such inquiry is permissible since it is not likely to elicit information about a disability. However, the EEOC also advised that “[i]f an employer requires employees to provide proof that they have received a COVID-19 vaccination from a pharmacy or their own healthcare provider, the employer may want to warn the employee not to provide any medical information as part of the proof in order to avoid implicating the ADA.”

The CDC noted that this newly released guidance is the first set of recommendations for fully vaccinated people and that this guidance will be updated and expanded based on, among other things, the level of transmission in the community. As further guidance is published, we will provide additional information as appropriate.

If you have any questions relating to this eAlert or any other COVID-19 issue, please contact NFC’s COVID-19 Response Team as we are closely monitoring the rapidly changing legal landscape relating to this global pandemic. Please feel free to reach out to the NFC Attorney with whom you typically work or call us directly.


SIGN UP NOW to receive time sensitive employment law alerts and invitations to complimentary informational webinars and seminars.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By clicking this button and submitting information to us, you will be submitting certain personally identifiable information, or information which used together with other information, can be used to identify you and/or identify information about you, to Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, PC (“NFC”). Such information may be used by NFC to contact or identify you. Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to, your [name, phone number, address and/or] email address. We collect this information for the purpose of providing services, identifying and communicating with you, responding to your requests/inquiries, and improving our services. We may use your personally identifiable Information to contact you with time sensitive employment law e-alerts, marketing or promotional offers, invitations to complimentary and informational webinars and seminars, and other information that may be of interest to you. However, by providing any of the foregoing information to you, we are not creating an attorney-client relationship between you and NFC: nor are we providing legal advice to you. You may opt out of receiving any, or all, of these communications from us by following the unsubscribe link in any email we send. However, this will not unsubscribe you from receiving future communications from us which are based upon an independent request, relationship or act by you.