U.S. health officials say staying home for the upcoming winter holidays is the best way to stay safe and protect others.

But for those who ignore that advice, COVID-19 testing before and after trips is an option.

Many Americans didn't follow CDC guidance against traveling over Thanksgiving so the agency announced the testing option during a Wednesday news briefing.

They said even if few people became infected while traveling, that could still result in hundreds of thousands of new infections.

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The advice includes reducing non-essential activities for a full week after travel or for 10 days if not tested afterward.

The CDC also officially shortened the recommended length of quarantine after exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19, as the virus rages across the nation.

The new guidelines allow people who have come in contact to someone infected with the virus to resume normal activity after 10 days, or 7 days if they receive a negative test result. That’s down from the 14-day period recommended since the onset of the pandemic.

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