Safe Holiday Celebrations during COVID-19
Holidays are one of the ways Minnesotans celebrate the people and events that we care about. Some are major U.S. holidays. Others are celebrated in our diverse communities and are important expressions of culture, faith, and family connection. Each holiday is special and important, but holidays may need to look different this year.
COVID-19 can easily spread from one person to another during traditional holiday activities where we gather for shared meals or rituals. No matter the holiday, we want it to be a safe one for you and your family.
Keep in mind that anytime you gather with people you do not live with, the risk of infection increases for everyone.
- Stay home if you do not feel well or are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 (CDC: People at Increased Risk). Invited guests should stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Invited guests who live with people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 should think about any added risks to their loved ones.
- Keep gatherings small. Keep indoor gatherings to 10 people or fewer and outdoor gatherings to 25 people or fewer.
- Hold small gatherings outside, if possible. Wear masks and stay 6 feet away from other guests.
- Open windows and/or doors to allow air to flow, when possible, if gathering indoors.
- Wear a mask indoors and outdoors if gathering with anyone that does not live with you.
- Encourage guests to bring their own food, drinks, and treats. Do not share utensils or drinking cups.
- Always stay at least 6 feet away from people that do not live with you.
- Remember who came to the gathering Keep a list of invited guests in case one of them gets COVID-19. This list will be helpful if you're contacted by a health department case interviewer.
- CDC: Holiday Celebrations
- Guidance for Safe Celebrations and Events (PDF)
- CDC: Hosting gatherings or cook-outs
- CDC: People at Increased Risk
Traveling increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.
- Traveling: Considerations before traveling
- CDC: Know Your Travel Risk
- CDC: Know When to Delay Your Travel to Avoid Spreading COVID-19
Many traditional holiday activities may help spread the virus. Choose activities with less risk. If you may have COVID-19 or if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should stay home and not take part in any in-person festivities.
- Wear face coverings at indoor and outdoor gatherings if any of the guests do not live with you.
- Stay 6 feet away from others, whenever possible.
- Costume masks are not substitutes for cloth face masks. The best face masks have two layers of fabric and cover your nose and mouth. Wearing a cloth face mask under a costume mask is not recommended because it may be hard to breathe.
Celebrate Halloween safely this year and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Choose activities with lower risk. See safety tips above.
- Celebrate at home with family. Carve or decorate pumpkins. Have a Halloween movie night with treats.
- Celebrate outside with family, neighbors, and friends. Carve or decorate pumpkins outside. Hold a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt.
- A virtual Halloween costume contest.
- No-contact neighborhood trick-or-treating. Put treats in individual goodie bags and place them at the end of your driveway or at the edge of your yard for families to grab and go.
- An outdoor costume party or haunted forest. Follow the safety tips above.
- Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards. Use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples. Follow safety tips above.
Avoid higher-risk activities
- Trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go from door to door.
- Costume parties or haunted houses held indoors.
- Trunk-or-treating where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
- Hayrides with people who do not live with you and fall festivals.
Celebrate Día de los Muertos safely this year and help stop the spread of COVID-19 by choosing lower-risk activities.
- Prepare traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (CDC: People at Increased Risk), and deliver them in a way that does not involve contact with others.
- Play music in your home that was enjoyed by loved ones who have died.
- Make and decorate masks or make an altar for those who have died.
- An outdoor, open-air parade with a small group of people. Follow safety tips listed above. Lower your risk by following Guidance for Vehicle Gatherings, Parades, and Drive-ins (PDF).
- Visiting and decorating graves of loved ones. Follow safety tips above.
- Hosting or attending a small outdoor dinner with local family and friends. Follow safety tips listed above. Lower your risk by following CDC recommendations for hosting gatherings or cook-outs.
Avoid higher-risk activities
- Large indoor celebrations, especially where there is singing or chanting.
- A large dinner party with people who do not live with you, especially if any guests are from out of town.
Celebrate Thanksgiving safely this year and help stop the spread of COVID-19 by choosing lower-risk activities.
- A small dinner with the people who live with you. See CDC: Food and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- A virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family.
- Shopping online, rather than in person, on the first Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving.
- Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and deliver them in a way that doesn't involve contact with others.
- A small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community. See CDC: Food and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Lower your risk by following CDC recommendations for hosting gatherings or cook-outs.
- Small outdoor sports events, if you follow safety tips above.
Avoid higher-risk activities
Avoid these activities to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Shopping in crowded stores, especially just before, on, or after Thanksgiving.
- Attending or participating in crowded races or parades.
- Attending large indoor gatherings with people who do not live with you.