The executive has sent an email to staff to inform them that if they are vaccinated they will no longer be required to wear a mask on its grounds, Fox News has confirmed.
The procedural change came just as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced new recommendation that those who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask in most settings.
“We’ve gotten this far. Whether you choose to get vaccinated or wear a mask, please protect yourself until we get to the finish line,” the White House wrote on Twitter announcing the news.
Vaccinated members of the media will not need to wear a mask at President Biden’s Covid-19 remarks this afternoon either, according to a White House official.
Fully vaccinated individuals are still advised to wear masks while in crowded indoor settings such as while on public transportation and in hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.
“We have all longed for this moment,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a press briefing on the news. “That moment has come for those who are fully vaccinated.” Mask mandates remain in place in a 25 states and it’s not yet clear when they’ll be lifted in light of the news.
The CDC and White House had been facing growing pressure to incentivize getting the Covid-19 vaccine by telling people they wouldn’t have to wear a mask if they got it. Nearly 60% of Americans have received at least one dose.
“I want to be clear that we followed the science here. While this may serve as an incentive for some people to get vaccinated, that is not the purpose. Our purpose here is as a public health agency to follow the science and to follow where we are with regard to the science and what is safe for individuals to do,” Walensky said.
Fox News’ Patrick Ward, Peter Doocy and Alexandra Hein contributed to this report.