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Safer Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

caution sign The information on this page may be outdated as it was published 2 years ago.

The holidays are right around the corner! Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate the season, the best way to minimize the risk of COVID-19 and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults and children age 5 and older get the COVID-19 vaccine. If it has been more than 6 months since you received your Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 2 months since receiving your Johnson & Johnson vaccine, please consider getting a COVID-19 booster shot.

Below is a list, created by the Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD), of safer ways to celebrate the holiday season. For more tips, check the CDC’s Holiday Celebrations page. 

Safer Activities:

  • Celebrate outside. The outdoors is safer than indoors. Enjoy outdoor dining, a walk, or other outdoor activities with people outside of your household, weather permitting.
  • Decorate your house, apartment, or living space.
  • Watch parades or holiday-themed movies at home with your own household.
  • Go virtual: Participate in religious ceremonies virtually and host online holiday parties.
  • Wear masks and avoid crowds when shopping indoors for food and gifts.


  • If you are considering traveling for a holiday or event, visit the CDC’s Travel page.
  • Remember to wear a mask when traveling on public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in transportation hubs (including airports). For more on masks, see CPHD’s Mask Guidance web page.
  • Do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, if you are sick, or if you test positive for COVID-19.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends that you delay your travel. If you must travel, get tested both before and after your trip.

Indoor Gatherings:

  • Wear a mask if you are planning to be at an indoor gathering with people outside of your own household. Given the concerns about the delta variant and the potential for fully vaccinated people to transmit the virus, the health department recommends that everyone—regardless of vaccination status—wear a mask indoors when outside their own home. Not all masks provide the same level of protection. A KN-95 or KF-94 mask provides more protection in higher risk situations than cloth masks. For more information, visit CPHD’s Mask Guidance page.
  • If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and from different parts of the country, you could consider additional precautions such as avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel and taking a test in advance of the gathering to further reduce risk. If you are not able to access an in-person PCR test, at-home rapid-antigen tests available at pharmacies are an option as well.
  • Consider opening windows and using fans to improve ventilation.
  • If you plan to attend an event (theatrical, religious, etc.) in person, wear a mask, practice physical distancing, and avoid singing. Socialize with people outside before/after the event.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and have received an additional dose and/or booster. They and the people around them should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
Page was posted on 11/23/2021 1:46 PM
Page was last modified on 7/25/2023 12:31 AM
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