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Originally Published by The New York Times

A third year of pandemic holiday travel is upon us, but this year instead of just thinking about how to stay safe from the coronavirus, people are also worrying about how to avoid the flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or R.S.V., the so-called tripledemic.

What’s also different this year is that there is no federal mandate to wear masks on public transportation. And even though cases of the coronavirus have been ticking up, there is no suggestion that mandates will be reinstated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Transportation Security Administration suggest that it’s a good idea to mask up, but are not requiring travelers to do so.

“C.D.C. recommends properly wearing a high-quality mask or respirator over the nose and mouth in indoor areas of public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, buses, ferries) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations and seaports),” the C.D.C. says on its website.

With the number of people flying tracking close to 2019 levels — the T.S.A. screened more than 4.5 million people over the past weekend — here are some steps you can take to stay safer as you travel during the holidays.

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