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THL recommends safe distancing at Xmas parties

Published : 09 Nov 2020, 23:46

Updated : 10 Nov 2020, 10:04

  DF Report

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File Photo: City of Helsinki by Mari Hohtari.

The Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Monday recommended that the upcoming Christmas parties should be organized in a wisest shape, maintaining safe distance among the participants.

The friendship groups, clubs, and workplaces need to consider appropriate ways to get together and celebrate the festival amidst the coronavirus epidemic.

“During these exceptional times, sharing experiences and enjoyable moments together is important for everyone. Therefore, we should not completely bypass social interaction, but instead come up with safe alternatives to larger gatherings,” said THL Director Mika Salminen in a statement.

He encouraged everyone to consider what would be the wisest shape and form for Christmas parties.

“Limiting the size of the group protects both individuals and the entire organisation: if the rates are in small groups of fewer than 10 people, the risk of all employees or team members simultaneously falling ill or being quarantined is also reduced. The important thing is that these groups remain in separate physical spaces,” said Salminen.

When organising small Christmas events, it is important to apply the same principles as in other gatherings: the most important thing is to maintain the 1–2 metre safety distance, observe good hand hygiene and cough into your sleeve or a tissue.

A face mask should be used when indoors. Anyone with symptoms should not participate even in small gatherings. Instead, they should go for a coronavirus test, said the THL.

When planning such gatherings, it is important to take into account the instructions and recommendations issued by the authorities in your own region, which will depend on the current stage of the epidemic in your area.

If the epidemic is in the spreading stage, the municipalities may also recommend restrictions on the number of participants in private events.

The organisers are also asked to tell the guests beforehand about safety distances, hygiene instructions and other precautions and download the Koronavilkku application if they do not already have it.