A Safe & Healthy Holiday Season

A Safe & Healthy Holiday Season

Plan a Safer Celebration

We have many reasons to be thankful, and all those reasons are why we must continue the course: socially distance, wear a face mask and wash hands often to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Important Note About Travel

Visit CDC’s Travel page to help you decide what is best for you and your family. CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s domestic travel or international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people. Regardless of vaccination status, you are still required to wear a mask on public transportation and follow international travel recommendations.

Safer Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

Holiday traditions are important for families and children. There are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health. Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible.

Here are safer ways to celebrate the holidays:

Generally:

  • Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination such as young children by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated and getting your booster shot if you are eligible.
  • Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoor settings if you are not fully vaccinated.
    • Even those who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission.
      • Outdoors is safer than indoors.
    • Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
    • If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
    • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Celebrate the holiday safely and follow these CDC recommended guidelines.

CDC on Gathering Sizes and Recommended Safety Practice

These options still present some moderate risk, however staying outdoors helps minimize risks:

  • Large gatherings bring together many people from multiple households in a private or public space. Large gatherings are often planned events with a large number of guests and invitations. They sometimes involve lodging, event staff, security, tickets, and long-distance travel. CDC’s large events guidance might apply to events such as conferences, trade shows, sporting events, festivals, concerts, or large weddings and parties.
  • Small gatherings are informal in nature and may occur with family and friends you regularly socialize with, often at someone’s residence. They typically do not involve long distance travel. Small gathering guidance might be more appropriate for social gatherings that are more intimate with close friends and family, such as small holiday parties, family dinners, and small special celebrations.
  • CDC offers the following guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Event planners should work with state and local health officials to implement this guidance, adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. This guidance is meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which gatherings must comply.

Special Considerations

By working together, we can enjoy safer holidays, travel, and protect our own health as well as the health of our family and friends.

  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and have received an additional dose. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
  • You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.
  • If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, you could consider additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a test) in advance of gathering to further reduce risk.
  • Do NOT put a mask on children younger than 2 years old.