Americans are being urged to continue to wear masks in indoor settings over the holiday season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in new guidelines released on Friday.
The agency stressed the importance of taking basic precautions when attending large events or gathering with family and friends, and of getting vaccinated.
“We fully expect that families and friends will gather for the holidays this year and we have updated our guidance on how to best to stay safe over the holidays,” the agency wrote in its updated guidelines.
“The best way to minimise Covid risk and ensure that people can safely gather is to get vaccinated or get the booster if you’re eligible.”
The CDC said even those who are fully vaccinated needed to wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with “substantial to high transmission”.
Anyone travelling in groups with unvaccinated people or young children should take additional safety measures, such as avoiding crowds and regular hand washing.
With airlines still struggling to recover from the flow-on effects of the pandemic, passengers are being warned of a “stressful” holiday season with ongoing cancellations and pilot shortages.
Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s are expected to cause bottlenecks at airports.