How to have a safe and merry coronavirus-free Christmas as Omicron cases soar


As the number of coronavirus cases reach record levels in the UK just days before Christmas, it is important to keep yourself and others around you as safe as possible

Even if we’re given the all-clear to mingle all the way this Christmas, safety will be paramount.

While we’re desperate to be together, no one wants to give or receive Covid-19, so here are some tips on how best to stay safe and well.

  • If you feel well, take a lateral flow test before meeting up, ideally over a number of days before your visit to be sure.

  • If you have symptoms stay away until you have taken a PCR test and have a negative result.

  • Limit the time you spend together, and try and avoid staying overnight and definitely sharing rooms outside your usual household.

  • Cut down on numbers – bigger families might consider splitting into two smaller gatherings rather than one big one. Pick a weekend next year to celebrate with a wider group.

A smaller Christmas might be a safer Christmas
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Image:

Getty Images/EyeEm)

  • Head for the home with the biggest communal space so you can sit as socially distanced as possible.

  • If you must be inside, open doors and windows to ventilate, preferably for 10 or 15 minutes every hour if you can’t bear the cold any longer.

  • Air purifiers and extractor fans are also reported to add benefits.

  • It’s not ideal, but for extended periods when you’re not eating and drinking, perhaps while watching a film, pop on a mask.

  • Although it’s tough, avoid hugs, especially with the vulnerable.

  • Dot hand sanitiser around the room alongside the nibbles! Put it by the front door and be sure to wash hands regularly, especially before meals.

  • Encourage guests to take off their shoes by the door and wash their hands thoroughly before you start to hand out drinks and gifts.

  • Avoid sharing food and keep snack bowls between households.

  • Weather permitting, the best plan is to get outside. Think about investing in outdoor heaters and plenty of blankets for guests. Arrange outdoor games to keep people moving and warm. Decorate the garden with fairy lights and ornaments.

  • Board games without shared pieces would be best, so step away from the Monopoly…

Don’t pressure those who chose to stay away, but make them feel included by video call – it will have been a hard choice to make.

  • To jab or not to jab is definitely not a question you want to debate on Christmas Day. Whatever your views, put politics and ethics aside for the season of peace and goodwill.

  • To be really safe this year, a zoom party (grimace) or a socially distanced walk or local drink or picnic outside (layers!) is the safest way to get together with less immediate family and friends.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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