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Holiday Travel: How to stay safe during the pandemic

Health officials say there is a good possibility we will see a spike in COVID-19 cases during the holidays due to gatherings and travel.
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Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching. If you plan to take a trip during the holidays this year, you should start thinking about travel plans.

Health officials say there is a good possibility we will see a spike in COVID-19 cases during the holidays due to gatherings and travel.

Huntsville Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Ali Hassoun, said, "You can get outbreaks with these things. It's not uncommon to hear about oh, I've been to this state and came back and now, all my family gets infected."

RELATED: CDC issues 'strong recommendation' for travelers to wear masks

When travelling, remember to wear your mask, practice social distancing, and keep gatherings small.

"The most common time we hear about transmission is actually in family clusters, and it's usually an extended family group or gathering together where they get the infection," said Dr. Hassoun.

Since the pandemic, airlines have been sanitizing more. Some airlines have been leaving empty seats between passengers for social distancing.

Even though airlines are making flying safer, Dr. Hassoun says you are still less likely to get the virus if you travel by car with your family.

RELATED: CDC recommends keeping gatherings small this holiday season

"I would consider still, if we're talking about domestic travel, especially if it's going to be that crowded and busy and the seats are all full, there's still going to be risk of transmission, even though aircrafts have good high filtration rate of the virus and good ventilation," said Dr. Hassoun. "That's why I go back and say probably by car is the best way to have the least chances of getting the virus or being exposed to the virus."

If you're going to see older family members, minimize contact with others for about two weeks before you visit.

"If you get exposed and develop any symptoms, it's usually 14 days, so if you do that 14 days before you travel, especially if you're going to visit those who are vulnerable, high risk of infection, co morbidities, elderly, all these will be a good idea if you can do it," said Dr. Hassoun.

RELATED: How to celebrate the holidays away from family

If you are in large crowds during travel, health officials say it's a good idea to self quarantine once you get back home.

If you are sick or are showing signs of COVID-19, it is recommended to not travel at all.

Click here for the CDC's recommendations for holiday travel during the pandemic.

WATCH: Do you still have to quarantine if you test negative for COVID-19?