Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh,

The Christmas season is in the air.

But what often makes “Trini Christmas” the best—having friends and family over frequently to celebrate — can also lead to outbreaks of COVID-19.

On Monday, Minister of Health confirmed the country is experiencing its third wave of the COVID-19 and advocated for the population to be careful when inviting loved ones over for the holidays.

In fact, the Minister advised that citizens know the vaccination status of their would-be Christmas guests and only invite the vaccinated in their homes.

Speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew programme yesterday, Deyalsingh reiterated his call, saying stricter adherence to the public health protocols is needed during this festive season.

“If you inviting guests indoors in your home now for Christmas and you are unsure of their vaccination status, my advice to you is…don’t invite guests you don’t know are vaccinated—I am doing that,” Deyalsingh said.

“If you don’t know and you want to invite your friends and family who may not be vaccinated, then I am afraid you’re going to have to wear masks indoors and when you want to eat your Christmas food, you’re going to have to spread out. If you could take your Christmas function outside into your porch, your gallery, your driveway, where there is fresh air circulating—even better—and take off your mask in that setting.”

The Government continues to place emphasis on the need for personal responsibility to combat COVID-19 now that the State of Emergency was lifted.

Deyalsingh said social distancing and mask-wearing will continue to be a critical part of “our mainstay of how we behave for the foreseeable future.”

He reiterated the need for the population to do its part in combating the pandemic.

“It is not that the Government is going to withdraw from its leadership position. No, we are still there to guide, to lead, to encourage policy subscriptions—the Prime Minister’s firmly in charge. But the onus to manage this now is not only on the Government’s harsh actions (like lockdowns and restrictions) but it’s now on soft action on the part of the population to become vaccinated, working together,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country recorded 21 COVID-19 deaths yesterday.

In its daily update, the Ministry of Health said the country’s death toll stood yesterday at 1,998 with the latest fatalities.

The ministry also reported 682 new infections from samples tested over a three-day period.