Holidays and COVID-19


Guidance for Winter Holidays

To minimize the spread of COVID-19 and keep families safe during the winter holidays, the County of San Diego offers guidance for common activities:


  • Shopping online for holiday gifts or gift cards, and online activities.
  • Drive-through or drive-by events or reverse parades where the participants do not leave their car.
  • Send a pre-made dinner or ingredients through online food delivery services and eat together virtually.
  • Charity meal activities and donate food to drive-through pantries, local food drives, or online food bank fundraisers in
  • accordance with our Charitable Meals Guidance.
  • Holiday- or winter-themed movie nights and home decorating with your household.
  • Get a flu shot to protect yourself and minimize complications from the flu or COVID-19 viruses.

Not Recommended

Not Allowed

  • Gatherings with members of other households is prohibited unless expressly permitted in the Regional Stay at Home Order.
  • Carnivals, festivals, and live entertainment are not allowed because close interactions increase the risk of infection.
  • Ice skating rinks are not allowed as they host many guests from different households where it is difficult to maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet.

Safer Alternatives

Many winter holiday activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are safer, alternative ways to celebrate and include the following:

  • Remote games and activities to replace traditional in-person entertainment.
  • Driving with members of your household in your car to view holiday lights and decorations.
  • Participate in a winter- or holiday-themed virtual run, hike, or bike ride.
  • Visit Santa, or other holiday figures, at locations that offer a touchless experience only with members of the same household.
  • Virtual gift exchanges where participants can follow personal protection measures prior to remotely giving and accepting gifts.

Steps to stay safe

However you celebrate, please continue to follow the Regional Stay at Home OrderCounty of San Diego Public Health Order, California Department of Public Health Guidance, CDPH Holiday Guidance and CDC guidelines for holidays. To stay safe during the entire holiday season, please remember to:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands often, and clean frequently touched items regularly.
  • Avoid close contact – stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not part of your household.
  • Avoid indoor spaces that don’t allow for easy distancing of at least 6 feet between you and others and follow state guidance for private outdoor gatherings of up to 3 households.
  • Correctly wear an appropriate face covering over your mouth and nose when outside your home and around others who are not part of your household.
  • Stay home and away from others if you are sick, have a symptom of COVID-19, or have been in contact with someone who is sick with or has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Follow directions if you are advised to isolate or quarantine