Press Release: The 2020 Christmas Season is now upon us and though this year has called for many changes and adaptations, the Ministry of Health recognizes the importance this time of year has for most St. Lucians.
As we prepare to celebrate, it is important that we make every effort to do so safely, taking all the necessary actions to remain in a good state of health.
With this in mind, the Ministry of Health advises the public of the heightened risks of COVID-19 which will accompany this year’s Christmas season.
Based on the current travel bookings and the related projections for the inflow of nationals and visitors into the country, there are increased pressures being placed for the management of quarantine.
A large number of nationals have applied for placement in home quarantine which requires increased monitoring as well as increases in responding to any breaches of the home quarantine protocols.
It is therefore critical that all who are placed in home quarantine, as well as their family members and social networks, partner with the Ministry of Health in supporting the conditions under which this quarantine option has provided.
Anyone who has been granted home quarantine is required to remain at home for the entire 14 day period of quarantine.
During this time there should be no visitors to the individual in quarantine by
family, friends and loved ones. Officials of the Ministry of Health will undertake routine checks of individuals in quarantine to assess the state of health while in quarantine and for any needed action if they become unwell.
We also recognize that during this Christmas season there will be intensifying of commercial activities.
We remind everyone that given the current public health environment, it is important that our health comes first, wherever we go and in whatever we do.
So whether we engage in our usual errands in advance of the Christmas celebrations or whether we are preparing for celebrations with family, we must all make health and safety a priority.
It is important to:
- Go shopping at times when stores have fewer customers, especially if you are one of the
individuals which falls within the higher risk groups
- Make a list and take it with you when going out on errands to reduce time spent in public
- People who are sick with flu-like symptoms should not engage in food preparation and
avoid social gatherings
- Limit the intake of high fat, high sodium and sugar laden foods
- The season is also known to have its own stresses and this year’s environment is likely to make these stresses even more intense. It is important to find healthy ways of coping.
- Limit alcohol intake and do not smoke
- Take a little time to debrief and discuss difficult emotions with supportive family and
- Make physical activity and moments of relaxation a part of the daily routine
It is important that we practice healthy behaviours and we encourage others to do the same.