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Gathering & traveling safely for the holidays

December 7, 2021 – FYI

With the holiday season upon us, many will be attending holiday gatherings with family and friends both near and far. Here are some tips and reminders about COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and holiday travel:

If you’re already fully vaccinated and you’re 18 years or older, you might be due for a booster for added protection:

  • If it’s been six months since your last Pfizer or Moderna dose, or two months since your Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you’re eligible. Your booster can be the same vaccine type you originally received, or it can be a different type — it’s your choice. Find vaccine availability in Juneau at juneau.org/vaccine.

If you’re not yet vaccinated but would like to be before attending holiday get-togethers, keep in mind these tips and time frames:

  • Protection from the vaccine begins building soon after your first dose; however, you are not considered fully-vaccinated until two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
  • If you are immunocompromised, and have not yet gotten your third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, please consider doing so before the holidays.

Other ways to help make your gatherings as safe as possible:

  • At-home tests: Even if you don’t have symptoms and have not been exposed to an individual with COVID-19, using an antigen at-home test before gathering indoors with others can give you information about the risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. This is especially important before gathering with unvaccinated children, older individuals, those who are immunocompromised, or individuals at risk of severe disease. Wearing masks at indoor gatherings, or spacing people apart during meals when masks cannot be worn, will also help keep people safe.
  • Don’t be the one to bring COVID-19 to the party: If you are sick, experiencing symptoms, or have been exposed, stay home.

Prepare ahead:

  • If you’ll be celebrating the holidays with people outside of your regular social group, you can keep everyone safe by limiting your contacts before the gathering: avoid crowded, indoor spaces for a few weeks before your event, wear a mask when out in public, and consider getting tested before and after the party.

Do your holiday plans include traveling?

  • The CDC still recommends that only fully-vaccinated individuals travel. If you are unvaccinated, please consider being tested before traveling, when you arrive at your destination, and when you return home. The City and Borough of Juneau recommends all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to test at the Juneau Airport upon arrival. Over-the-counter or at-home testing kits can be a helpful tool when traveling.
  • If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States, or you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 if you recently recovered from COVID-19. You must show your negative result, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, to the airline before you board your flight. Learn more about CDC requirements for international travel here.
  • Avoid crowded, indoor spaces for a few weeks before traveling.
  • Remember that masks are required in airports, on planes, buses, and trains for everyone 2 years and older.

CBJ wishes everyone a safe and healthy holiday season.