Holiday traditions are important for many families, and we're about to enter the second holiday season during the pandemic. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines for safely celebrating this year's holiday season. The CDC's top advice is for eligible Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine before gathering and traveling for the holidays.
Vaccination Is Key
Because many generations tend to gather for holiday celebrations, the best way to minimize COVID-19 exposure and keep your family and friends safe is to get vaccinated (if you're eligible). By being vaccinated, you can help better protect those not yet eligible for vaccination, such as young children.
Additionally, the CDC shared the following recommendations for the upcoming holiday season:
- Select a safe location. Celebrate outdoors if you can. Celebrating outdoors is safer than doing so indoors. Further, you should avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces whenever possible.
- Consider wearing masks. Wear a well-fitting mask over your mouth and nose when indoors if you are not fully vaccinated. Remember to not put a mask on children younger than 2 years old. Like last year, you should consider wearing masks if you'll be spending the holidays with people from outside of your home or in an area with high transmission of COVID-19.
- Get tested as needed. Be sure to get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
- Travel with caution. Delay holiday travel, such as flying, unless you're fully vaccinated. If you're not fully vaccinated or traveling with children who aren't eligible yet for the COVID-19 vaccine, choose other travel methods, such as driving.
Suppose you gather with a group of people from multiple households and—potentially—from different parts of the country. In that case, you could consider additional precautions, such as avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel or taking a COVID-19 test in advance of gathering.
By working together, Americans can enjoy safer holidays, travel smart and protect their health—as well as the health of their family and friends.