News Release HAMILTON, Bermuda As we approach the festive holiday season, the Ministry of Health Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (ESU) wants to remind our community to prioritize safety and health. With the increased travel and family gatherings during this joyous time, it’s crucial to be mindful of the potential risks associated with influenza and COVID-19 transmission.

Consider attendees’ health and vaccination status at events and gatherings, especially those at higher risk, such as the elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Take a COVID-19 test. This can help identify asymptomatic cases and prevent the unintentional spread of the virus.

Consider hosting smaller gatherings to reduce the risk of virus transmission. Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor ones, so opt for open-air celebrations when possible. For larger groups, virtual celebrations can provide a joyful and safe alternative.

Practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw used tissues in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.

If you travel, wear a mask in crowded or enclosed spaces, such as airports, planes, and public transportation and practice social distancing. Pack necessary items such as masks, hand sanitisers, disinfectant wipes, and tissues.

Minister of Health, Kim Wilson said, “By following these considerations, we can all contribute to creating a safe and enjoyable holiday season for everyone. Let’s prioritize the well-being of our community members and make responsible choices during this special time.

“The Ministry of Health wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.”