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6 tips for safer Labor Day travel

A woman loads suitcases into the back of a car.

Sept. 3, 2021—Many of us are ready for a holiday weekend to enjoy one last round of summer fun. But this Labor Day, you may want to take a few extra steps to keep you and your loved ones safe from COVID-19. Here are six rules of the road for enjoying a great weekend.

1. Wait until you're fully vaccinated to travel. Travel—and stops at stores, rest areas, hotels and tourist sites—can expose you to COVID-19. Before you go, make sure it has been two weeks since your one-dose vaccine or two weeks since your second dose of a two-dose vaccine. If you do decide to travel before you're fully vaccinated, get tested before and after your trip.

2. Think about outdoor fun. Do you love to barbecue? Has it been forever since you had an outdoor picnic at a park? These fun, outdoor family activities are safer than gathering indoors, where COVID-19 is more likely to spread.

3. Wear a mask to protect yourself and others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says you should wear a mask indoors in public if you are not fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated, it's still a good idea to wear a mask indoors in public if you are coming from, going to or stopping in an area of high transmission.

4. Enjoy restaurant foods at home. Curbside pickup and home delivery options let you enjoy your favorite eats at home—without the extra risks of dining in.

5. Social-distance your vacation. If you are fully vaccinated and plan to travel with your family or other fully vaccinated people, renting a house or cabin may be your best bet. Also, remember that on airplanes and buses, you'll likely be sitting within 6 feet of others. Short road trips in your own car may be a better idea.

6. Choose wisely for your kiddo. Kids 11 years of age and under can't get vaccinated yet. For their sake, it's good to behave as carefully as if you're all unvaccinated.

Want to learn more about COVID-19? Visit the Coronavirus health topic center.

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