And the lower the music too, please.

By Cailey Rizzo
November 17, 2020
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Credit: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

The CDC is quite sure holiday revelers have wonderful singing voices — they just don’t want to hear it at this year's gathering.

In recent guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have suggestions for people attending or hosting holiday gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Top of the list is to hold off on the holiday carols. Although a singalong may be family tradition, the CDC recommends that this year, holiday revelers “avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors" and to "keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.” Singing or shouting without a face mask can spread air droplets of saliva, which increases the risk of COVID-19 spread. 

One of the most important tips for hosts is to clearly communicate to your guests the health rules that will be in place at the gathering. Guests should know what to expect and what is and is not off-limits before they even make it to the party. Be aware that a few ladles of spiked eggnog may impair judgment, as the CDC warns that, "alcohol may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures."

A host may typically stock their bathroom with supplies for guests. This year, supplies for guests should also include extra face masks, tissues, soap, and hand sanitizer. Hosts may even want to consider providing single-use paper towels instead of a hand towel. In fact, opt for single-use items like utensils and plates when possible, to avoid extra contamination. 

It's ideal that a gathering be held outside if possible, but guests still should wear masks when not eating or drinking regardless of whether they're indoor or outdoor. Hosts can also consider hosting an event on a porch or tent — or even just open up a window while indoors to increase ventilation. 

The CDC also released a guideline of Thanksgiving-specific tips, with a focus on how to enjoy your supper safely. And if you’re planning for upcoming flights, check out the TSA’s guide to safe air travel this holiday season. 

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, on Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.