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Western Cape officials share how they are navigating festivities in the midst of Omicron

As Covid-19 cases increase for the second festive season in a row, the public are being forced to scale down their festivities once again. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

As Covid-19 cases increase for the second festive season in a row, the public are being forced to scale down their festivities once again. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Published Dec 20, 2021

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Cape Town - Covid-19 has changed the way people in the Western Cape mark the festive season.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the only social navigation most people had to do was to decide which parties and gatherings to attend or how many people to invite for the festivities.

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As Covid-19 cases increase for the second festive season in a row, the public are being forced to scale down their festivities as a wave of Omicron infections casts a shadow over this December holiday season.

Some Western Cape opinion shapers shared how they would be navigating the festivities and leading by example.

Provincial Health chief operating officer Dr Saadiq Kariem said that while people must be encouraged to take some down time, they must do so safely.

“Before the pandemic, at this time of year I would be meeting with friends, colleagues and family. We’d be getting together, socialising over the Christmas period and the new year.

“The last two years have been very difficult. It’s an emotionally difficult time for many people and as such they want to reach out to family and colleagues and friends.”

However, he said that staying safe meant that he would be staying in touch virtually rather than in person.

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Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said: “My bubble will only be my parents. I have done this for many years, even before Covid-19 was a factor.”

Premier Alan Winde said he was planning a family only gathering for Christmas Day, with his close family bubble.

“I plan to keep it outside as much as possible. This is because the scientific advice is to keep any gatherings small, short and outside.”

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ANC provincial health spokesperson Rachel Windvogel said: “Personally, I will limit my participation in the festivities during this difficult period of Covid-19 resurgence.

“I had my last event for the year which was handing over gifts to the poor people. Now I will spend quality time with my family.”

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