Face Masks Can Come Off Fully Vaccinated Individuals at USA Outdoor Shows As of May 17

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May 10, 2021

Face coverings/masks will not be required of fully vaccinated individuals as long as social distance is maintained at American outdoor competitions beginning May 17, the U.S. Equestrian Federation announced Monday. The change will come into effect two weeks since limited return of spectators.

The USEF said the change was in line with recent recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control to deal with Covid-19, but more stringent measures may be required by state and local governments and show organizers.

“This change means that unless more restrictive requirements are imposed by state or local governments or by competition organizers, any individual who is fully vaccinated is no longer required to wear a face covering/mask at USEF competitions when outdoors and at least six feet from any other individuals, except individuals in the same immediate household,” the federation said in a statement. “However, if you enter an area that is fully or partially indoors, you must wear your face covering/mask and stay socially distanced. Since there is a likelihood that you will enter an indoor area while at a competition, stay prepared and keep a face covering/mask with you at all times. We will continue to support organizers who feel it is in the best interest of their event to impose stronger requirements.

“While we are all looking forward to the continued easing of restrictions on COVID-related protocols, we must also realize that the effects of the pandemic are not over and as cases increase and decrease, state and local modifications may occur.

“Overall, our community has done a great job of not only being one of the first organized sports to reopen, but has also successfully kept our sport open by complying with the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan. As we continue to ease restrictions, we must do so in a responsible and moderated manner. Personal responsibility continues to be a critical component of easing restrictions and ensuring we can continue to enjoy equestrian sport.”

Although the U.S. overall has had one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the world, dressage and hunter/jumper competitions resumed in many parts of the country in June last year, three months after the global lockdown in mid-March.