Fully vaccinated students now have the option of going maskless in the fall, according to new guidelines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Friday.

This new federal guideline is not mandatory and students will still be required to wear masks in school buses or if their school decides otherwise.

Though this long-awaited easing of pandemic rules provides a glimpse of normalcy to the many students from kindergarten through 12th grade, vaccines are only available for people ages 12 and up, leaving a large portion of school-age children still unprotected from the virus.

"Achieving high levels of COVID-19 vaccination among eligible students as well as teachers, staff, and household members is one of the most critical strategies to help schools safely resume full operations," the CDC stated in their guidelines.

The new CDC guidelines still recommend unvaccinated students and staff continue wearing masks and following 3-feet of distancing. They also encourage schools to offer voluntary routine testing at least once a week.

These recommendations should not prevent classrooms from reopening, the CDC said.

School systems across the country began announcing a few months ago that fall would mark a full return of students to brick-and-mortar schools five days a week in order to revive some pre-pandemic normalcy, The Washington Post reported.

Capt. Erin Sauber-Schatz, a member of the CDC’s COVID response team who helped write the guidelines, said their goal was to write usable guidance for all schools that would "help keep kids in classrooms, as well as participating in any sports or extracurricular activities."

"The message is really, if your child is eligible for the vaccine, the time to get vaccinated is now," Sauber-Schatz told ABC News.

As fall classes near its start, the CDC released new mask guidelines allowing vaccinated students to attend classes without a mask. Creative Commons