City Releases Guidance for Safe Thanksgiving Celebrations

Thanksgiving is typically a time for friends and family to gather together and share food, laughter, and each other’s company. But these are all activities that are strongly advised against this year due to COVID-19, so Thanksgiving should look very different in households across the city, state, and country.

Mayor Martin Walsh and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) released guidelines last week to help people celebrate the holiday safely.

The City advises those who are not feeling well, who have been exposed to COVID-19, or who are at” increased risk for serious illness,” to stay at home and away from others.

““Thanksgiving is normally a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. We know these aren’t normal times, so we’re asking everyone to take the necessary steps to prevent the further transmission of COVID-19 as we enter a critical period in this pandemic,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement. “We can keep the spirit of thankfulness alive without putting yourself and your loved ones at risk. As always, I want to thank Bostonians for their cooperation during this difficult year.”

The City said that anyone who plans on hosting or attending a Thanksgiving celebration should limit it to 10 people or less in Boston, per the gathering limit. Guests should also wear masks when not eating or drinking, and six feet should be maintained whenever possible. Food, drink, and utensils should not be shared, and windows and doors should be opened if possible for better ventilation.

The City also put out guidelines for travel, reminding residents that the Massachusetts travel order requires returning residents to quarantine for 14 days or have a negative COVID-19 test from up to 72 hours before arriving back in the state. Face coverings are required at all times in public, and a flu shot is also recommended before traveling.

The City said that holding a Thanksgiving celebration with just the people in your household is a much safer alternative, as well as hosting a virtual dinner. Other suggestions include going for a socially distanced walk with family members or delivering family dishes to relatives contact-free.

For more information and the full list of guidelines, visit boston.gov/news/guidance-offered-how-safely-celebrate-thanksgiving-during-covid-19.

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