Traditionally, the end of the year is filled with holiday celebrations, family gatherings, and good cheer — but the holidays will look a little different this year. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the CDC cautions that holiday gatherings and travel carry a high risk for getting or spreading COVID-19. That’s why it’s important to celebrate safely this year — and act responsibly to protect yourself and your loved ones. CDC offers the following considerations to slow the spread of COVID-19 during small gatherings. These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state or local health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which all gatherings must comply.
Considerations for Small Gatherings of Family and Friends
Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses the lowest risk for spread. What does household mean?
Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment).
People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.
Holiday celebrations will likely need to be different this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Avoid activities that are at higher risk for spread. Consider fun alternatives that pose a lower risk of spreading COVID-19. Lower risk activities
Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home
Moderate risk activities
Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
Visiting outdoor gatherings where people use hand sanitizer before touching objects, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
Attending small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place
Higher risk activities
Avoid these higher-risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:
Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household
Using alcohol or drugs that may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.