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Coronavirus Australia: How to catch up with family and friends over Christmas while still being safe

Yes you CAN dodge Christmas in iso: The complete guide to partying with family and friends over the festive season WITHOUT catching Omicron

  • Australians fear they’ll spend Christmas in quarantine as Covid crisis worsens
  • Health authorities have revealed how to avoid self-isolation over festive season
  • Outdoor festivities and limiting indoor gatherings to less than four hours advised


Health officials have revealed how to avoid a lonely Christmas stuck in quarantine as Australia’s latest Covid-19 crisis worsens: go outside. 

Millions of Australians are anxious they’ll be plunged into self-isolation and be unable to reunite with loved ones this festive season as cases with the new Omicron variant explode.

NSW recorded 2,501 new Covid cases on Monday, Victoria reported 1,302 while the 105 infections in South Australia is the state’s highest spike in daily infections. 

Experts say holding events outside and limiting indoor gatherings to less than four hours are the best ways people can avoid getting the dreaded alert to self-isolate several days out from December 25.

People are urged to host outdoor Christmas festivities to reduce the risk of Covid (pictured friends having a picnic in Sydney)

Wearing masks when talking to others face-to-face is also recommended.

‘Have Christmas on the verandah or reduce your time inside a house with others to less than four hours,’ a Victoria Department of Health statement read.

‘You may still have to get tested but your time in isolation will be shorter.’

The advice comes after Victoria overhauled rules regarding household and close contacts.

Household contacts must still quarantine for seven days if fully vaccinated.

But a person will now only be deemed a household contact if they have spent four hours indoors with a positive case.

Australia's latest Covid-19 crisis has worsened with almost 4,000 new cases recorded across the nation on Monday, placing high demand on testing clinics (pictured in Melbourne)

Australia’s latest Covid-19 crisis has worsened with almost 4,000 new cases recorded across the nation on Monday, placing high demand on testing clinics (pictured in Melbourne)

Previously, non-household close contacts such as workmates, friends and classmates also had to isolate for seven days.

Now they only have to quarantine until they test negative.

Similar rules are in place in in NSW, where fully vaccinated close contacts are required to get tested and isolate until they receive a negative test.

For celebrations at home, NSW Health recommends all visitors be fully vaccinated avoid large, multi-generational gatherings and host festivities in the backyard, courtyard and other outdoor spaces.

‘Limit the length of time spent with people who you don’t live with. Keep gatherings smaller and shorter than usual,’ the NSW Health website states.

Victorian and NSW health authorities suggest shorter and small gatherings with loved ones with Christmas, preferably outdoors

Victorian and NSW health authorities suggest shorter and small gatherings with loved ones with Christmas, preferably outdoors

In Queensland, vaccinated close contacts must still quarantine for seven days and get tested on day five.

If the day five test is negative, the contact may leave home quarantine on day eight, but must wear a mask and not visit ‘high risk’ settings.

Those who test positive must remain in isolation until they’re cleared of the virus, which can take up to three weeks.

The spike in cases has seen overwhelming demand at testing clinics with Melburnians waiting up to three-and-a-half hours to be swabbed so they can receive their result in time to spend Christmas with loved ones.

‘It’s only natural for Victorians, before they get together to see family at Christmas time, they want to get tested and have that peace of mind that they’re COVID-free,’ state MP Ben Carroll said.

Australia recorded 3,986 new cases across the nation on Monday as Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an urgent National cabinet of state and territory leaders. 

Indoor celebrations should be restricted to four hours or less to avoid for being plunged into self-isolation over Christmas (stock image)

Indoor celebrations should be restricted to four hours or less to avoid for being plunged into self-isolation over Christmas (stock image)

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk