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People encouraged to start planning ahead for Christmas so they can 'celebrate safely'

People are being encouraged to start planning ahead for events such as Halloween and Christmas, s...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

20.21 7 Sep 2020


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People encouraged to start pla...

People encouraged to start planning ahead for Christmas so they can 'celebrate safely'

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

20.21 7 Sep 2020


Share this article


People are being encouraged to start planning ahead for events such as Halloween and Christmas, so they can "celebrate safely with loved ones".

Professor Pete Lunn of the ESRI's Behavioural Research Unit has suggested "now is the time to plan for the winter months ahead".

He said the big annual milestones such as Halloween, Christmas and New Year's Eve will take place within a COVID-19 environment this year.

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In a statement released by the Department of Health, Professor Lunn said: "Be innovative in how you can celebrate safely with loved ones.

"This year will bring added challenges so prioritise your mental and physical health, know you will invest in them each week.

"Choose your close network of social visitors this winter and prioritise members of your family or friends who may be more isolated."

He said it's important that people "take control" of their own environment, in terms of socialising, getting outside and exercising safely.

Meanwhile, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn stressed that officials aren't looking to cancel upcoming holidays.

He said: "Let there be no possibility of a message going out this evening that NPHET has said anything about cancelling Halloween or Christmas or anything like that.

"I've seen some social media comment that it's only a matter of time before we tell people how to trick or treat: as it comes closer to the time we can give some specific messages to help people socialise and do things safely around that time."

Dr Glynn also said this evening that the next seven days are "vital" when it comes to controlling the COVID-19 situation in Dublin and Limerick, amid a recent increase in cases in the two counties.

Main image: File photo of a Christmas dinner table. Picture by: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

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