The Christmas season is fast approaching, and almost everyone is weighing their holiday travel plans to join family and friends against the current surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, should you travel for the holidays this year? What safety precautions should people follow to travel safely during these times? How careful have airlines been when it comes to keeping their passengers virus-free?

Here are the things that you should know.

Should people travel for the Christmas holidays this 2020?

Both the government and public health officials urge everyone to avoid nonessential travels and just stay at home. They are also asking people to avoid large gatherings and stop going to public places because even the modest gatherings of friends and families are driving the COVID-19 surge.

If you decide to travel, on the other hand, you should follow the travel risk guide created by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This guide breaks down the components of safety travel – from transportation to personal content and lodging – rating options from “lowest risk” to “highest risk”.

You should also pay close attention to the number of new coronavirus cases in your area, as well as your destination. If the area has high community transmission, your risk of contracting the infection will be high.

Who should postpone their holiday travel plans?

People who are vulnerable to severe COVID-19 illness should just stay at home and avoid traveling – it will be the safest option for them. If you have an underlying chronic illness, frail, or quite old, you shouldn’t go out often.

Public health officials also ask everyone to avoid meeting up with vulnerable friends or relatives to prevent problems.

Do COVID-19 tests provide protection?

Testing can help identify if a traveler has coronavirus infection. However, it is not foolproof. It can show a false negative result, or simply miss the infection a person has. Thus, these individuals could certainly infect others or get infected during travel. That’s why you need to be cautious.

Would a COVID-19 vaccine make your travel safe?

Vaccines will be widely available for the holidays. However, it would most likely provide partial protection for everyone – much like a flu vaccine. In other words, people should still follow other standard precautionary measures to keep themselves safe.

What’s the safest way to travel?

Driving would be a better option than flying or using other types of communal transportations. This is because travelers can have more control of their interactions with other people on the road when they’re using their own vehicle.

The CDC stated that those who opt to use their car for short trips decrease their chances of spreading or contracting the virus. However, they need to minimize contact and wear face masks when they get out of the car. And instead of dining inside the restaurant, it’s better to opt for drive-thru food.

Should you stay at home?

The quick answer is yes. But, if you want to celebrate holidays with your immediate family members in other locations, staying in a rental cabin or house is a much better option than staying in hotels or other family’s home.

Is gathering with people outside your household safe?

Meeting with other people is safe. But you have to make sure that there is social distancing. Everyone should also wear face masks at the venue, unless it’s time to eat and drink.