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As 2020 comes to a close and many holiday celebrations are upon us, family and friend gatherings look a lot different in the midst of a pandemic. Some are opting out of gathering and hosting virtual family gatherings, others are celebrating with close neighbors, family or friends living in their same household (affectionately called Podsgiving), and still others are celebrating with extended family by following CDC COVID-19 guidelines for the holidays.

If you choose to travel for the holidays this year, keep these tips in mind as you journey to your destination:

  • Create your own “personal space” bubble. COVID-19 or not, giving yourself a little personal space can help keep you and those around you from swapping germs. If you’re using public transportation, try to pick a spot that gives you at least 6’ of space from others. If you are flying, consider booking a flight with an airline that’s keeping the middle seat open.
  • If you’re sick, don’t go. While some families are asking each attendee to get tested for COVID-19 before they come, others are setting guidelines for when to stay home. If you have a fever, cough, or were in close contact with someone who was sick recently, plan to skip holiday gatherings.
  • Sanitize like it’s your job. When you’re packing clothes and gifts for the holidays, be sure to include some hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) and surface sanitizer to clean any surfaces you’ll be touching frequently to avoid picking up or sharing viruses. Be sure to also wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask in public settings. As you are making your way to holiday gatherings, the CDC recommends mask wearing to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Wearing masks, bringing your own plates and cutlery and sitting at a table designated for your household—these are just a few of the recommendations from experts on ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the holidays.