Stay safe during family Christmas meet-ups
We still do not know if the lockdown will happen and what will be the restrictions before Christmas. Whatever will happen, it will not destroy the Christmas spirit.
Although, it is better to prepare for the worst possibility and just in case laugh during next Christmas dinner from taking unnecessary actions this Christmas. Let’s stay all safe and jolly.
How to safely celebrate Christmas during COVID-19
How can you safely spend Christmas 2020 with other people from different households? There are a few more or less conventional options, depending on the situation. You should probably discuss it with your family before.
Christmas at Home
If you are planning to invite guests for Christmas in your house, it is important to make it as safe as possible. You do not want to put your dearest people at risk for sake of meeting them because of some tradition. Even so lovely like Christmas.
Please, do not organise or attend Christmas party where it is difficult to maintain social distancing and avoid close social interaction.
Christmas in your household and in the support bubble are safe. Just take care of yourself buying food and gifts on the high-street, and attending friends and family pre-Christmas meet-ups.
Seeing friends and family during Christmas 2020
There are slight differences across UK about meeting with friends and families. Please check them here:
You can also find there useful links, which can help you stay up-to-date.
Currently, in most of the countries across the UK, you can meet in a group of up to 6 people from up to 2 households in a public or privately. Both, indoors or outdoors. There are different rules about calculating children, please check for details. In England they are counted in the group of s
How to organise Christmas for different households
It is not going to be easy. To avoid spreading the infection, you need to be very careful and follow government guidance.
Remember that there are still many questions about COVID-19, so nobody has all the answers. New models of spreading COVID-19 are still surprising scientists. Nobody can guarantee that even following all social distancing rules, you will definitely avoid spreading the virus.
There is an evidence that the virus is less likely to be passed in well-ventilated buildings and outside. But meeting people outdoors is safer than meeting people indoors.
Seeing other people outside your household or support bubble, you should maintain social distancing guidelines which is 2m (1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) but in general, as far as possible.
Christmas dinner inside
Have the windows opened as often as possible. Please remember about 2m rule which can be difficult to maintain in typical British houses but not impossible.
It is important for your guests from a different household to avoid loitering and touching surfaces.
It would be good to avoid using toilets and wiping any surfaces as often as it is possible. If you have more than two toilets, dedicate one of them for your guests and disinfect it thoroughly after their visit, as well as all surfaces they could touch.
Plates and utensils must be thoroughly cleaned before use. Not pass each other food or drink to people from another household.
Christmas dinner outside
You can meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households.
The weather will be cold, so you probably can’t do it outside – or you can, if you will invest in a heating lamp or a fire pit for your garden. You do not want to put anybody at risk of getting sick because of the weather outside.
Hygiene rules to avoid getting and spreading COVID-19
Remember that wearing a face covering does not protect you from being infected but it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with. Especially, if you don’t have any symptoms. This is why it is so important for everyone to wear a mask. Children can pass the virus as well! In the US there was a case, where 8 months old baby passed the virus on his parents.
Although, it is rather impossible to wear a face mask while eating so really think about the vulnerable people.
It is more likely to spread COVID-19 if people are facing each other.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you are going to cough or sneeze. Put the tissues to the bin. If you don’t have any tissue, do not use your hands to cover your face. Instead, cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Bare in mind that since then, the bacterias and viruses will be on your clothes. Wash them as soon as possible and get some tissues.
Avoid touching your mouth and eyes.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. Dry them thoroughly.
More rules about meeting people from outside your household are available on the government website.
How to make Christmas really safe?
It should be safe to meet-up with people or households, which self-isolated themselves for at least two weeks.
The NHS website states that since somebody had positive test result for COVID-19, must self-isolate himself for at least 10 days since the symptoms started or the test was done. But we have to be aware that there are at least a few cases in the world when people carried and spread COVID-19 for months. So we can’t take it for granted that after 10 days somebody will not spread the virus.
Also, if you had COVID-19 and you had the antibody test done with a positive result, it still doesn’t guarantee that you will not get the virus again. There are a few confirmed cases of people which got sick again. It is probably because the virus is mutating. You can have no symptoms this time and still spread it being sick again.
Please be aware of all of it.
The ideal situation is having done a COVID-19 test by all people which will attend your Christmas. It is only truly safe, if all people had a negative test result and self-isolated since the test was done. It means no shopping outside of the house, no interactions with anyone, no traveling in the public transport, and so on.
If having Christmas together is so important for you and your closest people, maybe this kind of sacrifice can be a solution.
Earlier Christmas lunch
Earlier in the month you can meet with your family in the restaurant to eat together your Christmas lunch. It is possible to meet as a group of two households in any location. This does not need to be the same household each time, so you can organise a few Christmas lunches. You still need to follow social distancing rules.
If you would like to have a Christmas lunch for more than two households, maybe you can book two separate tables. Follow social distancing and hygiene rules to avoid spreading the COVID-19.
It is important to avoid hugging and kissing people from a different household.
In the restaurant, you can be asked to leave contact details in case of any COVID-19 case.
Christmas in a support bubble
In England, if somebody lives alone or is a single parent who lives alone with children, the person can meet with one other household without social distancing. The government calls it a support bubble.
Members of the support bubble can be treated like members of the household. People inside their support bubble can have close physical contact with each other, if they want to. So it is possible to invite somebody living alone, lonely parent or friend for your Christmas.
To make it even safer, perhaps you could think about using your spare room and connecting households for a few weeks. This would be ideal. Think about inviting your lonely parent, other family member or a friend for a while.
Becoming one household, getting one shopping, going outside together makes it safer for all of you. But obviously, it can be impossible because of your life circumstances or being risky for somebody’s health.
Christmas dinner in a distance
If there are people which you would usually see for Christmas but they (or you) have to self-isolate themselves, there is still option to spend Christmas together. How to do it?
Find ideas, how to celebrate Christmas remotely.