CDC has provided the following guidance for holiday travel and collect students:

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, many college students are returning home to spend time with family. CDC’s Celebrating Thanksgiving tip sheet is a resource to help people take steps to make their Thanksgiving holiday safer. Additionally, another resource that can be shared is Holiday Celebrations & Small Gatherings for reducing the spread of COVID-19 to keep friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.

In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.  College students visiting family or friends should be thought of as overnight guests from a different household. They and their hosts, which might include their own parents, should follow all overnight guest precautions to protect themselves for the duration of the visit. For longer visits, after 14 days of following guest precautions, the student, if without symptoms or recent contacts with anyone with COVID-19, can be considered a household member and follow steps to protect themselves and others.  As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with This can be especially true for households with persons at increased risk for severe COVID-19 (older adults, immunocompromised, etc.).  Review considerations for travel risk.

Anyone who may have participated in higher risk activities or may have been exposed before or during travel is recommended to take extra precautions to protect others for 14 days after they arrive:

Follow the Holiday Celebrations tips for “Visitors Staying Overnight” that also apply to students returning home.

  • Launder student’s clothing and masks and stow luggage away from common areas upon arrival.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially upon arrival.
  • Wear masks while inside the house. Masks may be removed for eating, drinking, and sleeping, but individuals from different households should stay at least 6 feet away from each other.
  • Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation.
  • Spend time together outdoors. Take a walk or sit outdoors at least 6 feet apart for interpersonal interactions.
  • Avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors.
  • Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household.
  • Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
  • Have a plan for what to do if someone becomes sick.

Follow all state, territorial, tribal, and local recommendations or requirements for testing, stay-at-home orders and quarantine requirements after travel.

If you do travel:

  • Check travel restrictions before you go.
  • Get your flu shot before you travel.
  • Always wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or when you can’t use soap and water, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.

After you travel:

  • When around others, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household. It is important to do this everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are outside of your home, and including when using public transportation.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or when you can’t use soap and water, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol .
  • Watch your health and look for symptoms of COVID-19. Take your temperature if you feel sick.


These steps are especially important if the traveler has been involved in Higher Risk Activities. Some types of travel and activities can put you at higher risk for exposure to COVID-19.

  • Being in an area that is experiencing high levels of COVID-19, including destinations with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice. You can check the Travel Health Notices for recommendations for places you have traveled, including foreign countries and U.S. territories.  You can also check states, counties, and cities to determine if these areas are experiencing high levels of COVID-19.
  • Going to a large social gathering like a wedding, funeral, or party.
  • Attending a mass gathering like a sporting event, concert, or parade.
  • Being in crowds – for example, in restaurants, bars, airports, bus and train stations, or movie theaters.