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#COVID-19: Just how safe is ‘safe’?

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COVID-19-Just-how-safe-is-safeIs it safe to dine at a restaurant? Should I venture to the hairdresser? Claudia Calleja spoke to pathology professor Chris Barbara about the risks of going places during the coronavirus pandemic.

As the health authorities slowly start easing restrictions put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, many might be wondering how safe it is to step beyond their front door.

Professor Chris Barbara explains that, no matter where you go, certain unbendable rules must apply. These include maintaining social distancing, washing hands regularly, protecting the vulnerable and staying home if you are feeling unwell. 

Inviting people home – indoors

Medium to high risk: 4/5

Meeting people who live outside your household comes with risks – you never know if they are carrying the virus.

“Exposing yourself to people, from outside your household, for more than 15 minutes increases risks. Even if you wear masks and maintain social distancing, your guests will be sitting on your chairs and contaminating surfaces,” Barbara says. 

Inviting people home – outdoors

Medium risk: 3/5

This is less risky than having people inside the house due to air circulation. But, otherwise, the same applies as having guests inside.

“Even if you’re sitting in a garden or terrace, the guests are still making use of your things. You need to take all precautions and disinfect anything they touch,” he says.

Visiting the elderly

High risk: 5/5

While it is okay to go and see elderly relatives from afar, by staying outside their home and talking to them from below the balcony for example, entering their home increases the risk of you contaminating their home.

“Any risk of infecting vulnerable people is high risk,” Barbara says.

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ARTICLE WRITTEN BY TIMES OF MALTA
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