Fifth wave of Covid-19: some tips for spending quieter festive meals

This year again, the Covid-19 pandemic is coming to the party. While France takes the measure of the fifth epidemic wave, driven by the Omicron variant, the government and health authorities have delivered some instructions for the upcoming festivities. For the executive, no question of “cop the Christmas of the French” as defended the government spokesman, Gabriel Attal. Now is the time for prevention, to prevent the creation of “mini-clusters at Omicron” during Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Franceinfo summarizes these tips, to be shared without moderation.

Get tested the day before or the same day

Is the long-awaited meal or party approaching? Whether you are vaccinated or not, it is strongly recommended to perform a PCR or antigen test the day before or the same day. The use of a self-test is also recommended, if possible in the hours preceding the event. These do-it-yourself kits cost an average of 5 euros per unit.

In the event of a positive antigen or self-test, the Scientific Council recommends confirming the result with a PCR test. If the latter is positive, isolate yourself for 10 days and alert any possible contact. The health authorities also advise to be widely tested on December 31 by antigen test or self-test, and to repeat the test 5 days later.

Air the room at regular intervals

Despite the winter temperatures, it is always recommended to ventilate the living and reception areas once an hour, for a minimum of 10 minutes. A habit taken by many French people, which has the merit of limiting the risks whatever the variant in circulation. “Both Delta and Omicron are transmitted by aerosols, recalls Anne-Laure Crémieux, infectious disease specialist at Saint-Louis hospital (AP-HP), opening the window regularly is to dissipate these aerosols. “

Limit the number of guests

This is the least popular recommendation, but the most effective according to the Scientific Council. In an opinion issued on December 8, the organization recommends in absolute terms “immediately renounce any collective gathering in closed places where wearing a mask is not possible (…), in particular all gatherings with consumption of food and drink”. But in the absence of confinement or curfew, as was the case in 2020, the Scientific Council recommends reducing the number of people during family celebrations or between friends.

However, no gauge was given by the authorities. “Let us rely on a principle of common sense: the fewer there are, the less risk we take”, was content to declare the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, at the end of the health defense council of December 17. It has become a daily reflex, but the Scientific Council recalls “that it is essential not to expose yourself to other people if you are symptomatic” and that it is necessary to be tested quickly if necessary.

Pay particular attention to the most fragile

Ensuring the number of guests is not always enough. The Scientific Council recommends making sure that the oldest have received their booster dose, and that the youngest have also performed their booster vaccination. “to better see and protect the elders”. In the absence of a complete vaccination schedule, it is strongly recommended to wear the mask in the presence of more fragile guests.

In its opinion of 17 December, the Scientific Council finally recommends avoiding seeing people over the age of 65 during the first week of January, in order to avoid “a festive post-meeting transmission of New Years Day”. Unfortunately, the organization does not have any good news to share in its greeting cards. “The sixth wave due to the Omicron variant will set in quickly and continue relentlessly the fifth wave linked to the Delta variant, warns the Scientific Council. This situation could put great strain on the healthcare system from mid-January for a period of several weeks. “

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