The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging unvaccinated Americans to skip holiday travel again this year, telling them it’s safer to stay home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
In an updated holiday guidance issued Friday, the federal agency said it “still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated” against COVID-19.
“We fully expect that families and friends will gather for the holidays this year and we have updated our guidance on how to best stay safe over the holidays,” the CDC announced. “Holiday traditions are important for families and children. 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.”
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As for those who are inoculated against the virus, the government is encouraging them to put on face coverings whenever they’re celebrating the holidays inside.
“You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, it at increased risk of severe disease, or is unvaccinated,” the agency added.
For those unvaccinated people who decide they “must” travel, the CDC is urging them to take extra precautions, such as getting tested for COVID-19 before and after their trips, quarantining for at least a week after arriving at their destinations, and wearing masks.
And for anyone “traveling in a group or family with unvaccinated people,” the agency is urging “safer safety options,” such as keeping trips short with very few stops, avoiding hotel stays, and not “visiting an unvaccinated family member’s or friend’s home.”
The CDC furthermore stated anyone with a weakened immune system — even if they are vaccinated and have received a booster shot — should “continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people.”
“Children between the ages of 2 and 12 should wear a mask in public spaces and around people they don’t life with,” the CDC added, noting children under 2 years of age should not wear face coverings.
The updated guidance from the CDC comes not long after Dr. Anthony Fauci, who serves as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said it’s “too soon to tell” whether Americans should gather for Christmas this year.
He walked back those comments less than a day later, after intense criticism.
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