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# Christmas like no other
Face masks while cooking and no hugs: Here's the advice on how to plan Christmas Day this year
How should we plan the 25 December based on what we were told last night?

AFTER THE GOVERNMENT revealed the three-part relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions last night, how should we plan our Christmas in Level 3?

From Friday 18 December, households can mix with two other households indoors, and inter-county travel is permitted until 6 January.

That means that for those 20 days, people can visit relations for Christmas.

The Irish Government has emphasised that household visits will be a personal choice for people to make: meaning that people will have flexibility to see their families over the festive season, but they will have to take precautions in the weeks beforehand.

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris told reporters yesterday that the new list of restrictions were “not a to-do list” and we don’t “squander” progress over the Christmas period.

“This cannot and will not be the kind of Christmas we are used to, but it will be a very special time when we will all be able to enjoy some respite from the hardships of 2020 and in particular the last six weeks,” Taoiseach Micheál Martin said.

Here’s the advice from the Government on how to have a “safe and meaningful” Christmas Day in the middle of a pandemic:

It may sound obvious, but plan ahead. The Government is advising that you plan who you will see on Christmas day, and to limit your contacts in the lead up to it to reduce the risk to you and your family.

On Christmas Day, try encourage everyone to use hand sanitiser or to wash their hands when they arrive at yours, or wash your hands when you first arrive at someone else’s home.

When cooking in the kitchen, the government advice is to wear a mask when cooking and serving food, and to  limit the amount of people in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to limit physical contact with other people. So for example:

  • Trying to avoid hugs, kisses and handshakes
  • Don’t share items like crockery and glassware
  • Avoid sharing food and buffet style set ups.

A little extra space at the dinner table is also a bit safer and maybe a bit more comfortable for people. The advice is that people from the same households should sit together at the dinner table.

Fresh air goes a long way, too: try to keep your home well ventilated where people are gathered, and keep windows and doors open where possible. If possible, meet for a walk or spend some time in the fresh air instead of indoors.

You can read more information here.

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