TOP TIPS FOR STAYING COVID SECURE THIS CHRISTMAS
Keeping Your Christmas Bubble COVID Secure
There is no doubt it’s been a very different year for all of us. Though a COVID-19 vaccine is now being distributed, it will not be more widely available until next year. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can ensure you and your bubble stay COVID secure this Christmas, lowering the risk of transmission, and avoiding a third COVID-19 wave in January.
The Government have given the green light for people in the UK to gather with members of 2 other households between the 23rd and 27th of December, allowing them to create a “Christmas Bubble”. This will be a wonderful opportunity to spend time with loved ones after what has been a difficult few weeks of lockdown and separation due to the second wave of COVID-19 cases.
According to GOV.UK, during the 23rd - 27th of December, the people of the UK can*:
- Form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households. However, Christmas bubbles cannot be changed throughout this period.
- Travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting their Christmas bubble.
- Meet their Christmas bubble in private homes and gardens, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces.
- Continue to meet people who are not in their Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier they are meeting in.
It can be expected that in most bubbles there will be members of vulnerable groups like the elderly. Due to this, we must make sure we do everything possible to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 by taking simple actions to stay COVID secure while spending time together.
*Correct at time of publishing
Tips for Staying COVID Secure this Christmas
Isolate before Christmas
If you are showing COVID-19 symptoms in the days approaching Christmas, you must stay at home. However, to reduce the risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 transmission, you should also consider self-isolating before spending time with your Christmas bubble over the holidays. Ideally, you should isolate for 14 days as this would reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. However, in cases where this is not possible, consider 5-10 days. Though this is not enough to assure you are 100% safe without a COVD-19 test, it’s better than nothing.
Hands Face Space
In early September, the Government launched a campaign urging the public to wash their hands regularly, cover their faces and make space to control COVID-19 transmission rates. These requirements will be very relevant during the holidays as Christmas bubbles gather indoors to celebrate the holidays.
Hands: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser. This is especially relevant when prepping food over Christmas.
Other ways to promote good hygiene over Christmas include supplying single-use towels in bathrooms and the kitchen and avoid self-service food and drink options. These steps will reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus.
Face: COVID-19 is largely transmitted through tiny respiratory droplets that are expelled from the nose and mouth. This is why face masks and coverings have been so prominent in stopping the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask while you are indoors with your Christmas bubble will help reduce this transmission and keep your bubble COVID secure. You could even consider getting Christmas themed face coverings to make it more festive.
Similarly to washing your hands, covering your face is necessary when preparing food over the holidays.
Space: Transmission of COVID-19 is most likely when you are within 2 meters of another person. Therefore, even in your Christmas bubble, you must try to keep your distance to protect yourself and others. Sometimes it can be hard to push a loved one away when they approach you for a hug, however, it is important that you politely say no and let them know that keeping your distance is necessary to protect them from potential infection.
Fresh air reduces the risk of transmission of COVID-19 so even though it may be cold outside, it’s important to keep the windows open to ensure that air is circulating throughout the building. Just make sure to wrap up warm!
Asymptomatic COVID-19 PCR testing is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to ensure you are COVID free before spending time with your Christmas bubble. A PCR test will detect the active presence of the virus, showing whether you currently have COVID-19. A negative test result will give you and your loved one's peace of mind while you spend time together this Christmas.
At London Doctors Clinic, part of the Doctors Clinic Group, we offer a range of private PCR swab tests including same day, 24 hour and home tests. All of which are PHE accredited and are available to asymptomatic patients. Our standard tests have a turnaround time of 2-3 days 2-3 days so contact us as soon as possible to get your test and results before meeting with your Christmas bubble. For quicker results, we also offer our Same Day (4-6 hours) and Express testing (24 hours). Visit our website to learn more about the different COVID-19 testing options available.
We all want to spend time with our loved ones this Christmas so let’s all work together to keep everyone safe and COVID secure during the holidays.