Filipinos are fond of sharing food, especially during celebrations. But with the risks posed by COVID-19, it may be best to skip the Noche Buena spread this year, the Department of Health said.
Instead, families sharing the traditional Christmas Eve meal should serve individual portions, the DOH said. Sharing of utensils should also be avoided since the virus is known to spread through droplets and aerosols.
"While Filipino families are also fond of doing long-table food spreads, it is best to skip this practice this year and opt to allocate food individually," the health department said in a statement.
"In the same fashion, exclusive use of utensils must also be ensured even if it’s just a small family celebration."
MORE ON VIRUS-FREE CHRISTMAS:
With Christmas fast approaching, Dr. Victoria Nolasco of the University of the Philippines Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics urged families--particularly those with children--to recheck their planned activities for the holidays.
"Spending the holidays with extended family members or relatives heightens the risk as these people are also bringing in exposure from their workplaces, residential areas where they came from, and people they have interacted with during their commute or travel,” Nolasco said.
Health authorities have repeatedly discouraged the public from gathering this Christmas to minimize the risks of spreading COVID-19.
Earlier, the government also prohibited shopping malls from allowing the entry of children to prevent the likely spike of COVID-19 cases.