Biden lays out changes as an incentive for people to get the shots so they can return to ‘more normal lives.’

Federal health officials said Tuesday that fully vaccinated people can go without masks outdoors when walking, jogging, or biking, or dining with friends at outdoor restaurants — a milestone development for tens of millions of pandemic-weary Americans after more than a year of masking up and locking down.

President Biden touted the relaxation of restrictions as another reason for people to get vaccinated, urging them to move forward not just to protect themselves and those around them, but so they can live more normally, by “getting together with friends, going to the park for a picnic without needing a mask.”

Biden had set July 4 as a target for when people could get together for backyard picnics with a sense of normalcy, and both the new mask guidance and his remarks were geared to encouraging people to continue getting the shots.

“ I … want to thank everyone who has gotten the vaccine for doing your patriotic duty and helping us get on the path to Independence Day,” Biden said in remarks on the North Lawn of the White House. He arrived at the lectern wearing a mask. He returned to the White House without one, saying he didn’t have to put it on until he got back into the building.

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