Outdoors over indoors, quarantine bubbles and virtual church services: CDC releases holiday celebration guidelines before Easter weekend

Those who are fully vaccinated and two weeks out from second dose can gather, says CDC

With the second Easter a year into the COVID-19 pandemic coming soon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing guidelines to safely celebrate the holiday.

The CDC issued guidance urging those who celebrate Easter to consider safer alternatives to celebrate the holiday, including gathering outdoors instead of indoors. Other suggestions included enjoying meals with household members only and participating in virtual religious ceremonies and cultural performances.

“Attending gatherings to observe religious and spiritual holidays increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19,” according to the guidance. “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.”

The CDC reported wearing a mask with two or more layers over your nose and mouth, securing it under your chin and making sure it fits snugly against the sides of your face helps to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and others. The centers also advises wearing a mask indoors and outdoors, since 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.

For those who originally anticipated hosting a holiday gathering, “if you are sick or have been near someone who thinks they may have or have been exposed to COVID-19, cancel the gathering,” according to the CDC.

However, as long as those gathering in the same space are all fully vaccinated – meaning it is at least two weeks after receiving the last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – and not at risk for severe illness, party attendees may gather without wearing face masks, according to the CDC.

The CDC also recently released updated travel guidelines now saying people fully vaccinated from COVID-19 can travel within the United States. Travelers do not need COVID-19 testing or to quarantine after travel as long as they continue to wear a face mask, staying 6 feet away from others when possible, avoiding crowds and washing their hands frequently.

Travelers on public transit – including trains, rideshare vehicles and airplanes – still remain required to wear masks while using those methods of transportation, according to the CDC.

“Travel may increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19,” according to the CDC. “The CDC continues to recommend postponing travel and staying home, as this is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”

Katie Finlon

Katie Finlon

Katie Finlon covers local government and breaking news for DeKalb County in Illinois. She has covered local government news for Shaw Media since 2018 and has had bylines in Daily Chronicle, Kendall County Record newspapers, Northwest Herald and in public radio over the years.