How Is Covid-19 Impacting 2021's Holiday Season?

Photo Courtesy: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Every year, the winter-holiday months add up to big spending and a whirlwind of activity for companies and consumers alike. Families, health officials, retailers and airlines all start participating in one of the busiest times of the year to shop and travel. However, the COVID-19 outbreak remains a global threat, even now that the holidays are upon us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created detailed-travel guidelines to further mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

2020 was a particularly challenging year for families who were desperate to visit their loved ones. A massive influx of travelers caused airlines to experience large bumps in traffic; the Friday before Thanksgiving saw more than 1 million people pass through U.S. airports in "the second-highest single-rush day of travelers since the start of the pandemic," according to The Washington Post. Airlines have become much better equipped throughout 2020 and 2021, with services like American Airlines implementing multiple travel restrictions to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Long-distance traveling is much more viable for commuters, provided travelers adhere to safety precautions.

The CDC also released new guidelines for the Winter holidays in October. Advice ranges from general tips like wearing warm, well-fitting clothes to specific considerations such as requiring COVID tests for all visitors. The holiday season can be stressful enough without the threat of a pandemic, so before you start booking flights and putting together a game plan for hitting the local mall in search of gift deals, take a look at what retail, travel and health experts have to say about expectations for 2021’s holiday season.