January 23, 2022

Christmas meal and coronavirus: the recommendations of the Scientific Council

The end of the year festivities are approaching but France is still facing a fifth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic. To limit contamination during gatherings, the Scientific Council has given its recommendations.

Grandpa and Grandma should they eat the log in the kitchen, as Professor Rémi Salomon suggested last year? If the country experiences, as in 2020, an epidemic upsurge during the holidays, the situation is not exactly the same, in particular thanks to the immunity conferred by the vaccine.

In an opinion dated 8 December entitled “End of the year 2021: how to reconcile health and societal issues”, the Scientific Council recalled some elementary principles so that the Christmas meal does not turn into a cluster.

Self-test the day before or the same day

In addition to the usual barrier gestures, the Scientific Council recommends “limiting the number of participants”, without setting a precise figure. To ensure that everyone is negative, it is advisable to “perform a self-test the same day or an antigen test the day before or the day of the event”.

“The organizers of these festivities could thus very usefully organize the self-test, by purchasing them and making them available as soon as the participants arrive. As a reminder, a self-test costs 5 euros, ”the document specifies.

Regarding the elderly and frail, we must ensure that they have “received their booster dose” before inviting them to a gathering. “The most fragile or unvaccinated people can wear an FFP2 type mask as soon as possible”, adds the scientific council.

Beware of clusters

In terms of ventilation, it is recommended to “keep a window or door open for at least 10 minutes per hour or permanently if possible during the event”. The use of a CO2 sensor is strongly “encouraged”.

In its opinion, the Council also draws attention to the spread of the Omicron variant which could tarnish the Christmas holidays.

This new variant is in fact responsible for a giant cluster of 70 cases in Denmark after a Christmas meal that brought together 120 people twice vaccinated in a restaurant. 50 other people who came to eat at the same restaurant were also infected.