Brussels (Brussels Morning) The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe is calling on people to celebrate Christmas outdoors and with face masks as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus infections, RFI reports.
The UN health body is taking note of the latest wave of the pandemic sweeping across Europe and urges the public to exercise caution.
“There is a high risk of further resurgence in the first weeks and months of 2021, and we will need to work together if we are to succeed in preventing it,” WHO Europe notes, making it all the more important for people to be extra careful as they prepare for holiday season gatherings.
People should hold celebrations outdoors if possible, the health body recommends, opines, and should wear face masks as well as keeping their distance from others. For celebrations held indoors, WHO is stressing the need for good ventilation and advising that the number of guests should be limited in order to reduce the risk of infection.
Keeping away from family members and friends during festivities “may feel awkward,” WHO observes, “but doing so contributes significantly to ensuring that everyone remains safe and healthy.”
Several EU member states have imposed more severe restrictions in their bid to control the pandemic and the bloc has agreed to coordinate its vaccination campaigns to begin on the same day.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says that it is vital to vaccinate up to 70% of the population if the pandemic is to be ended. The bloc should start the campaigns as soon as possible, she said, and it should coordinate its efforts.
Meanwhile, the fact that the UK and the US have started their respective programmes using the coronavirus vaccine made jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech in the EU, puts pressure on the bloc to catch up.The Netherlands closed non-essential shops and schools on Tuesday. Similar restrictions were imposed on Wednesday in Germany as well as in parts of England, while Denmark extended restrictions that were already in effect. In addition, France and Turkey have announced holiday season restrictions.