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CDC drops quarantine, distancing guidelines for COVID-19

The United States top public health agency relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines on Thursday, dropping the recommendation that Americans quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with an infected person.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also said people no longer need to stay at least six feet away from others.

The changes, which come more than two and an half years after the start of the pandemic, are driven by a recognition that an estimated 95 per cent of Americans 16 and older have acquired some level of immunity, either from being vaccinated or infected.

Many places in America long ago abandoned social distancing and other once-common precautions, but some of the changes could be particularly important for schools, which resume classes this month in many parts of the country.