How To Stay COVID-safe This Christmas

Friday 18th December 2020

Sophie Rioch

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Woman in face mask lighting a candle in front of a Christmas tree

2020 has been a year like no other. The global pandemic has caused turmoil for countless families across the world. In the UK, elderly relatives have been separated from their loved ones, younger generations have been banned from going to school and many parents have fallen subject to job redundancies.

According to the BBC, in the last few months alone, redundancies have reached a record high of 370,000. It’s predicted that the unemployment rate in the UK will rise to 9.7% by the end of the year.

Whilst the nation had hoped that life would be somewhat back to normal by Christmas, unfortunately that is not the case. The virus is still ongoing and thriving, meaning we can expect to see a different type of festive season this winter. 

Overall, the majority of the British public have been respectful of the implementation of new government regulations over the past 12 months, however, some families have chosen to ignore the rules for personal gain.

With Christmas fast approaching, the government’s new regulations have divided the nation. Those in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 have been granted the opportunity to form a “Christmas bubble” with up to 3 other households, allowing them to spend valuable time with their loved ones. The festive season looks very different for households in Tier 4, however, who have just been informed that they are no longer permitted to travel or form bubbles with friends or family.

Christmas bubbles

On the 25th of December, if you belong to Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3, you will be able to form a bubble with 2 additional households. The purpose of the bubbles is to allow families to spend valuable time with one another over the Christmas break. The nature of this means that you will be permitted to travel between tiers if members of your bubble live outside of your tier – excluding Tier 4. Once you’ve decided on your bubble, however, you cannot change households, so think carefully about whether your fellow loved ones hold the same values in relation to adhering to government rules.

Protect the vulnerable

Families with vulnerable individuals have an even harder decision to make. Those with existing medical conditions, such as underlying respiratory problems, as well as the elderly and young infants, are at most risk if exposed to the virus and therefore require enhanced precautions.

If you or one of your family members are considered vulnerable, it can make the task of choosing a bubble particularly complicated as all bubble members must behave sensibly.

Self-isolation

If the dilemma is causing you significant distress, it may be wise to choose against joining a bubble and instead self-isolate within your household. As well as those most vulnerable, individuals with severe anxiety may seek peace of mind through the decision to self-isolate.

If you feel like this is the best option for your mental or physical health, do not be afraid to go through with it; your loved ones will understand.

Of course, quarantine rules still apply to those who have recently returned to the UK from their travels. Anyone who has come into contact with someone who has tested positive is also required to isolate for 14 days, meaning they are unable to participate in the bubbles.

Likewise, if you or someone in your bubble tests positive over the Christmas bubble period, your entire group must take it upon themselves to self-isolate. It’s not worth putting others at risk just for the sake of having a good time.

If members of your household have tested positive, there’s a high chance that various surfaces in your home are contaminated too. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the virus can remain airborne for as long as 3 hours and live on surfaces for up to 72 hours, meaning if not dealt with promptly, your entire household and any visitors are at high risk.

Personal hygiene

If you do decide to form a bubble with family and friends, it’s important to stay on top of personal hygiene. The members of your bubble have placed their health in your hands and will be expecting you to abide by all government regulations and advice. Your actions have the potential to affect the health of your entire bubble, so you should think wisely during this time.

Likewise, even if you find yourself in Tier 4, there are a number of ways you can minimise the risk of catching the virus. Here are out top tips:

Avoid shouting

We understand the excitement that Christmas brings, but advise that you avoid shouting in the home. Shouting increases the production of respiratory droplets which come out of your mouth when you talk, so by talking more quietly, you can minimise the risk.

Wash your hands

Regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water is crucial, particularly after touching shared objects or surfaces and before eating. A study by Healthline revealed that the average person touches their face 16 times an hour, mostly without realising. Say, for example, you’d unknowingly touched a contaminated surface in your home, you’d then be touching your face and passing on the germs. If these microbes enter your body through your eyes, nose or mouth, you’re likely to fall ill.

Clean touch points

As mentioned previously, germs can remain active on surfaces for up to 3 days. Consider the number of times you and your loved ones touch the same door handles, sit in the same seats and hold the same bannister as you walk down the stairs. By regularly wiping down areas most susceptible to picking up germs, you can significantly reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

Try not to share

Though a normality at Christmas time, you should avoid sharing bowls of food, drinking from the same glasses and using the same utensils or kitchenware as one another. Minimal contact is recommended in order to lessen the threat.

Contact us

To find out more information check out our website icecleaning.co.uk. Our coronavirus decontamination service lasts for 28 days and is available nationwide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To hear more about the cleaning services we provide, give us a call on 0333 577 5805 or email us on enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk and a member of our professional support team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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