Make a list and check it twice, it’s time to get prepared for a COVID-free Christmas! Lydia Berry looks at what we can do to help keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe this Christmas…

Whilst you put together your usual festive prep of food, presents and quality time with loved ones, it’s also important to consider preventative COVID measures to ensure you don’t have the unwanted guest at your door this year.

From mask-wearing to getting your COVID boosters there are plenty of ways that you can get prepared for a COVID-free Christmas and protect yourself and your loved ones.

Wear a mask as you fulfil your Christmas tasks.

Wearing facemasks is one of the most effective tools in tackling COVID. It is now mandatory to wear a facemask on public transport, in shops and crowded venues. However, it’s also important to wear your mask in any other crowded space to avoid the spread of COVID-19. So if you’re running around trying to tick off your Christmas to-do list, make sure you’re wearing your facemask to avoid getting caught out.

All I want for Christmas is my COVID vaccine

Getting your COVID vaccines can significantly reduce your reaction to the virus, and it is the most effective way to protect yourself against coronavirus. There’s no time like the present (see what we did there?) to get your COVID vaccines.

Whether it’s your first, second or even your COVID booster there are hundreds of appointments being added to the National Booking System daily Book a vaccination . There are also pop-up vaccine clinics being held across East Sussex to bring the COVID vaccines closer to you. Plus if you need transport to get any of your COVID vaccines there is help available Free transport for your jab  This fantastic service provided by the NHS enables you to travel to your nearest available COVID vaccine site if you don’t have your own transport.

Go with the flow

Keep regularly taking your Lateral Flow Tests in the lead up to Christmas. Regularly taking Lateral Flow tests is an incredibly effective way of catching COVID before symptoms present. You can order these online Order your tests or collect at your local participating pharmacy or Library. If you have a positive Lateral Flow Test or have COVID symptoms you should take a PCR test. So before you spread the Christmas cheer this year, take your Lateral Flow tests especially before mixing with other households.

Sensible socialising

We all have a role to play in reducing the risks to our families and communities from COVID-19. Whilst we want you to enjoy the festivities, we urge you to be sensible with your socialising. For fun Christmas activities you can do from the comfort of your own home click here Have yourself a homemade Christmas – Your East Sussex by East Sussex County Council

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!