For the holiday season, the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided guidance that involves wearing masks, staying outside and avoiding crowded travel.
In a statement posted on the WHO Regional Office for Europe website, the WHO reports that “a significant risk of increased COVID-19 transmission.” is raised by the huge rise in crowds anticipated over the holidays.
It encouraged people, families and neighborhoods to do their part to avoid cases from occurring – by conducting family events outdoors, wearing masks and practicing social distancing where possible.
“It may feel uncomfortable to wear masks and practice physical distancing around friends and family, but it goes a long way toward keeping everyone safe and healthy,” the WHO statement said.
“Vulnerable people and older friends or relatives may find it very difficult to ask loved ones to stay physically away, regardless of the fears or concerns they may have. Consider how others feel and the difficult decisions they may have to make.”
The statement also encourages individuals to avoid crowded public transport and recommends that countries with ski resorts take action to change them during the ski season to avoid crowding.
The announcement comes at a time when thousands of newly confirmed covid cases are recorded daily by countries across Europe, and Germany announced further lockdown steps on Wednesday.
France imposed an 8 p.m. order. Curfew, and the Netherlands is actually under a curfew for five weeks.
What is recommended by WHO?
Regardless of place, wherever possible, religious festivities should be held outdoors, the WHO says.
It adds that with physical distance, ventilation, hand hygiene and the use of masks as necessary, they should be restricted in size and length.
“Indoor gatherings, even small ones, can be particularly risky because they bring together groups of people, young and old, from different households, who may not all adhere to the same infection prevention measures,” WHO advises.
It recommends that all gatherings be held outdoors if possible, wearing masks and keeping physical distance.
If held indoors, it is important to limit group size and provide good ventilation to reduce the risk of exposure, WHO adds.
WHO reminds all travelers to avoid all modes of transportation that may be crowded and urges everyone to follow instructions from authorities when traveling.