The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is urging people get vaccinated against COVID ahead of this year’s holiday season.
In new guidelines released last week, the CDC offered suggestions for all those who’ll be getting together for the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays.
“Because many generations tend to gather in order to celebrate the holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is by getting vaccinated if you’re eligible,” the CDC said. “By working together, we can enjoy safer holidays, travel, and protect our own health as well as the health of our family and friends.”
Among the recommendations were:
- Protect those around you, particularly young children, by getting vaccinated.
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth if you are in a public indoor setting if you are not fully vaccinated.
- Fully vaccinated people should wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in areas with substantial to high transmission.
- Outdoor events are safer than indoor events.
- 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.
There were other recommendations for people planning on traveling:
- 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.
- If you will be traveling in a group or family with unvaccinated people, choose safer travel options.
- Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation and follow international travel recommendations.
Other special considerations
- 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.