Robert: Province releases COVID-19 guidelines for the Christmas season

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Christmas is very social time of year. The holiday season is usually ripe with getting to together with loved ones, family and friends.

However, with the world still firmly within the grip of COVID-19, Chief Medical Office Dr. Janice Fitzgerald and Public Health are recommending altering your usual X-mas plans in order to lower the risk of spreading the disease.

Firstly, Dr. Fitzgerald says the reality is we’re living in a pandemic and several factors have lead to low cases in Newfoundland and Labrador, including tight borders, noting it would be irresponsible to open our borders now. Travelers coming into the province from outside the Atlantic Bubble will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry.

Dr. Fitzgerald also strongly recommended limiting contacts during the holiday season, and suggests your household should only have 20 close contacts in total. When you do host friends or family this Christmas, she cautions putting large amounts of food, such as plates or trays of snacks, out for guests to serve themselves, and suggests one person be in charge of serving all guests.

Caroling is permitted as long as carolers remain outside and 6 feet away from those inside.

Mummering is OK as long as you limit it to close contacts.

Finally, Dr. J. Fitz ensured all of us that Santa Claus is considered an essential worker and will be permitted to visit Newfoundland and Labrador on Christmas Eve.

More info on the province’s COVID-19 guidelines for Christmas will be released in the coming days.

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