Former President Barack Obama changed his plans for his 60 birthday celebration. There will no longer be a large, outdoor bash – the party instead will only include close friends and family.

Published reports claimed that hundreds of people were expected to show up at his home in Martha’s Vineyard.

“The outdoor event was planned months ago in accordance with all public health guidelines and with COVID safeguards in place,” said Obama’s spokesperson, Hannah Hankins in a statement. “Due to the new spread of the Delta variant over the past week, the President and Mrs.[Michelle] Obama have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends.”

“President Obama is appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon,” she added.

Obama turned 60 on August 4. His plans for his birthday celebration were criticized after reports were published this week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that people – including those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – should continue to wear masks in public indoor areas, or areas with high rates of transmission to protect against the new delta variant. A few states and cities have re-established mask requirements as infections have increased across the country.

Both Obama and the former First Lady are fully vaccinated against the virus and have encouraged Americans to get the vaccine and follow public health protocols.

“COVID-19 has gotten more contagious, so it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated,” he wrote in a tweet with a link to find vaccination centers near their area. “Vaccines are safe, and the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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