Self-confinement before the holidays: tips to limit the risk of contagion

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The Scientific Council recommends "self-confinement" before the end of the year celebrations to reduce the risks of contagion during traditional family gatherings. How long to isolate yourself? What must be implemented for this containment to be effective?

The end of the year celebrations are approaching, but in this particular context of the Covid-19 epidemic, the preparations no longer concern the Christmas menu or the gift list. The priority for the moment is to take all necessary precautions to limit the risk of contamination during the holidays, in order to protect yourself and your loved ones.

To achieve this, it is recommended "preventive self-confinement of people who plan to spend the end of the year holidays with people at risk (elderly or frail)". The idea? Restrict contact as much as possible before meeting with family members. To implement this isolation before the holidays, the Scientific Council has revealed its advice on the procedure to follow.

Self-isolate 7 days before vacation

Self-confinement is recommended 7 days before December 24 or 31. Therefore, adults are encouraged "if they can, to take a break during this period, failing that, telework is preferred".

Opt for early vacations

And children? The Scientific Council had made two proposals: reinforce the barrier measures in schools the week before the holidays or "leave tolerance to families who can and want to extend the school vacation period by 2 days."

Do I have to get a screening test?

We know: Covid-19 tests should in no way replace barrier gestures. But as the holiday season approaches, many plan to get tested. The Scientific Council obviously recommends that symptomatic people get tested.

What about asymptomatic people? In case of taking risks the week before Christmas, a PCR test is recommended. However, the notion of false security is cautioned. Negative virological tests, particularly antigenic tests given their lower sensitivity, cannot rule out infection and the application of barrier gestures remains essential in this case. This is particularly why self-confinement for a week before the holidays is recommended.

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