Safer Ways to Observe Religious Holidays
Attending gatherings to observe religious and spiritual holidays increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. The safest way to observe religious and spiritual holidays this year is to gather virtually, with people who live with you, or outside and at least 6 feet apart from others.
- Enjoy traditional meals with those who live with you.
- Practice religious holiday customs at home.
- Prepare and deliver a meal to a neighbor.
- Watch virtual religious and cultural performances.
- Attend religious ceremonies virtually.
If you plan to celebrate with others, outdoors is safer than indoors.
Travel may increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. CDC continues to recommend postponing travel and staying home, as this is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.
If you are considering traveling for a holiday, visit CDC’s Travel page to help you decide what is best for you and your family.
Wear a mask
- Wear a mask with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19 to protect others and yourself.
- Wear your mask over your nose and mouth, secure it under your chin, and make sure it fits snugly against the sides of your face.
- Wear a mask indoors and outdoors.
Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you
- Indoors or outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
- Remember that people without symptoms or with a recent negative test result can still spread COVID-19 to others.
Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces
- As much as possible, avoid crowds and indoors spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors. If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.
Wash your hands
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing and before eating.
- Make sure to dry your hands completely using a clean towel or by air drying.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this winter. If you do gather with people who don’t live with you, gatherings and activities held outdoors are safer than indoor gatherings.
In addition to following the steps that everyone can take to make the holidays safer, take these additional steps if attending a gathering to make your celebration safer:
- Have conversations ahead of time to understand expectations for celebrating together.
- Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
- Wear a mask indoors and outdoors.
- Avoid shouting or singing.
- If you are sick or have been near someone who thinks they may have or have been exposed to COVID-19, cancel the gathering.
- Provide single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like plates and utensils.
- Limit the number of guests.
- Have extra unused masks available for your guests and encourage everyone to wear them inside and outside.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
- If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
- Have a separate space for guests to wash their hands or provide hand sanitizer.
- Host a virtual gathering with friends and family.
- Drive or walk around your community to wave to neighbors from a safe distance.
- Take a food or gift to family, friends, and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others, such as leaving them at the door.
- Throw a virtual dance party and collaborate with friends and family on a playlist. Celebrate outside with neighbors and friends.
- Volunteer to help others in need.
- Attend a virtual religious ceremony or celebration.