How to celebrate the holiday’s safely

How+to+celebrate+the+holiday%27s+safely

ANNIKA NYBORG, Staff Writer

With the holidays underway, city and state officials warn of a potential spike in Covid-19 cases, as people create unsafe situations to celebrate. 

To prevent the risk of exposure, community spread, and more deaths, Massachusetts officials have created a set of guidelines to help you enjoy your holidays safely. 

Low risk celebrations:

Limit the gathering to only the people you live with. If you want to see family or friends, host a virtual dinner/celebration. When delivering food to family or neighbors, deliver them in a way that involves no-contact.

High risk celebrations:

When gathering outside your household, there is a higher risk of you contracting or spreading Covid-19. If you plan to have a celebration considered high-risk, follow the state guidelines. These gatherings must follow Massachusetts gathering size limits. Indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people.

Low risk shopping and activities:

One holiday tradition that many families take part in is a visit with Santa. Low-risk meetings with Santa will happen virtually.  This extends to other traditional activities like caroling.  For low-risk caroling, host a virtual meet link and send it out to the people you want to sing with and sing for this holiday season. And when viewing Christmas lights, stay in your car with the people that you live with. 

Low-risk shopping will take place online, with packages being delivered or obtained via curbside pick-up. When using curbside pick-up, make sure you and the retail personal are wearing masks. 

Medium risk shopping and activities:

Medium-risk shopping will take place in-store, during off-peak times when there are fewer shoppers. Also maintaining 6 feet of distance between you and others and wearing a mask.

High risk shopping and activities:

For higher-risk Christmas caroling or reciting, you must stay more than 25 feet from the people you are reciting or singing for, and wear a mask. Also, remain outdoors while caroling. If you are visiting Santa Claus in person, you need to wear a mask, stay 6-feet away from him and the others in line, and make a reservation for your visit. If you are viewing holiday lights outside, take a one-way walk with those you live with and maintain distance from others. 

High-risk shopping happens when it is done with a non-household member, so be sure to wear a mask, including while driving together. As a reminder, while in-store shopping, maintain social distancing with other shoppers and keep your mask on. 

Travel guidelines:

Massachusetts officials recommend postponing or canceling any trips during the holiday season. If you do plan to travel, you need to comply with the Massachusetts travel orders. Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless you are visiting from a lower-risk state as designated by the Department of Public Health. Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day.

These guidelines are in place for you to have a safe holiday. 

For more information, the links below are for Mass.gov on information regarding Covid-19 guidelines, Covid-19 holiday guidelines, MA travel order, and CDC holiday recommended guidelines: 

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information

https://www.mass.gov/news/december-holiday-guidance

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html