The Western Cape Department of Health has put out an advisory on how to celebrate Christmas while being mindful of the second wave currently hitting the country.
“We know many families are looking forward to spending time with their loved ones. Enjoy this time safely and protect your vulnerable family members from COVID-19,” it said.
Keep these guidelines in mind to make sure you stay safe:
1. There is no shame in admitting that you feel sick. If you feel sick, rather stay home and join the celebrations virtually, for example via a video call. Don’t risk infecting your loved ones with COVID-19.
2. Keep your gathering small and short. More people and longer time together means a higher risk to contract the Coronavirus. Please confine your celebration, as far as possible, to only your household (family bubble).
3. Have your Christmas lunch outside. Gathering outdoors is safer. If you cannot have it outdoors, make sure you open all doors and windows and keep 1.5 m from each other.
4.”We know that you feel safe with your loved ones. However, it is important to protect them by wearing your mask at all times over your mouth and nose and to keep a distance of 1.5 m from others,” the Department said.
5. Avoid gatherings, crowds, places with poor ventilation, and situations where you cannot keep 1.5 m from others.
6. Ask one person to serve the food and drinks. Avoid a self-help buffet setting for your Christmas lunch.
7. Do you have high-risk people in your household? It may be best to keep the Christmas celebration to your household only to protect them.
8. If you want to use alcohol, please drink responsibly so that you do not drive while under the influence and can avoid alcohol-related trauma and injuries. “This will help us to reduce the pressure on our hospital emergency centres,” the Department added.
“If you or a loved one experience shortness of breath, have difficulty breathing, pressure on your chest, or feel confused and lose consciousness, seek emergency medical care. You can call the ambulance on 112 from your cellphone or 10177 from a landline,” it said.
“We would also like to express a heartfelt thank you to all our health staff working over the Festive Season. We know you are sacrificing time with your loved ones to serve the residents of the Western Cape.”