CDC Encourages Online Holiday Shopping To Keep Consumers Safe

CDC Director: Social Distancing Strategies Will Be Needed As Major Defense This Fall

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some advice for holiday shoppers who prefer brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping: avoid crowds.

On Monday (Sept. 28), the nation's public health institute released new guidelines discouraging the public from packing malls or standing in long lines because there’s a higher likelihood of contributing to the spread of the coronavirus.

The CDC suggested shopping online rather than in person on Black Friday or the days that follow.

CNBC reported retailers from Amazon to Target are encouraging shoppers to start holiday shopping early and avoid the crowds by extending Black Friday discount sales.

Best Buy and Walmart have said they will start deals in October. Amazon confirmed it will have its Prime Day deals on Oct. 13 and 14. On the same days, Target is offering its own Deal Days, CNBC reported.

The CDC also offered guidance on holiday gatherings.

While celebrating virtually or with members of your own household pose low risk for spread, in-person gatherings raise risk levels.

If you will be hosting a celebration, the CDC recommended outdoor activities rather than indoor as much as possible. If that's not possible, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated or enclosed indoor spaces. Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors. Limit numbers of attendees as much as possible.

Provide or encourage guests to bring supplies to help you and others stay healthy. For example, extra masks, hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol and tissues.

Earlier this month, CDC Director Robert Redfield told a Senate subcommittee that a COVID-19 vaccine should be available to the American public late in the second quarter or third quarter of 2021.

Redfield said he believes a vaccine would be first available in limited supply between November and December. He said 80 million people in the U.S. have significant existing conditions that put themselves at risk, noting that they have to get vaccinated.

As PYMNTS reported previously, a COVID-19 vaccine being created and broadly available is the most pivotal event that has to take place before regular routines can be restarted.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.