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What travel recommendations have the CDC established for Thanksgiving?

As coronavirus cases rise the CDC suggests staying home this year. But if you must travel, use masks, hand-washing and social distancing to help keep your friends and family safe this holiday season.

As coronavirus cases rise the CDC suggests staying home this year. But if you must travel, use masks, hand-washing and social distancing to help keep your friends and family safe this holiday season.

As we approach Thanksgiving there are concerns that increased travel could see the covid-19 infection rate continue to rise. November has already recorded more cases of coronavirus than any other month, accounting for around a quarter of the 12 million cases to date.

On Sunday over one million people passed through American airports in a single day, the largest number since the pandemic first took hold in mid-March. The combination of rising case numbers and plummeting temperatures could make this holiday season the most dangerous period to date.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that people celebrate Thanksgiving at home this year to avoid spreading the coronavirus to friends and family. However, if you have to travel they have some tips to minimise the risk.

How safe is it to travel this Thanksgiving?

The CDC warn that staying home this year is the best way to keep yourself and others safe. Before making the decision, it is worth considering a few factors to decide what it best for you.

We know that certain groups such as the elderly or those susceptible to respiratory issues are more likely to suffer long-lasting consequences from covid-19, so it is worth bearing in mind who you will be in contact with this Thanksgiving. Likewise certain communities have a particularly high numbers of cases or overwhelmed hospitals, so are best avoided.

It is also worth considering how you will travel. The guidelines suggest maintaining 6 feet of distance from anyone not in your household, which would be nearly impossible to do on public transport. It is also worth checking if the area that you are visiting has any requirements or restrictions that will prevent you from legally moving around.

If any of this applies to your Thanksgiving plans the CDC recommend considering other options, such as hosting a virtual gathering or delaying your travel.

How to reduce your risk if you do decide to travel

  • Check travel restrictions before you go.
  • Get your flu shot before you travel.
  • Always wear a mask in public settings, when using public transportation, and when around people who you don’t live with.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who does not live with you.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
  • Know when to delay your travel.

How to keep safe and minimise the risk of spreading covid-19

Wear a mask – The CDC recommends using a mask with two or more layers whenever close to someone from outside of your household. The mask should fit over your nose and mouth at all times, and fit snugly to the sides of your face.

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you – Even those without symptoms can spread covid-19 so it is important to maintain a social distance of six feet.

Wash your hands – Handwashing is a simple but effective way to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The CDC recommends washing them often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and using hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol) to use when you do not have access to handwashing facilities.

Make preparations for a safer gathering – There will always be a risk if you are gathering with people from outside your household but some tips can help to make it safer. To prevent a spread of infection bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils, and use single-serving options for condiments and salad dressing. Try to avoid areas where food is being prepared or handled and store masks away safely while eating or drinking.


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