CALIFORNIA—Governor, Gavin Newsom has prohibited families to gather across California during the holiday season because he believes that “when people from different households mix, that it increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19.”

Mandated requirements prohibit more than three households to gather in one place at one time. In other words, if a family of 4 wants to celebrate Christmas together but they all live in different homes, they are not allowed to do so under these guidelines. If you are able to get your family together, it is demanded that the host collect names of all attendees and contact information in case contact tracing is needed later.”

Gatherings of people must be outside in a backyard or front driveway where everyone can socially distance sit six feet apart with their masks on. If anyone needs to use the restroom, they can go inside to do so, but the restrooms must be “frequently sanitized.”

If you don’t have a home with a backyard or a driveway in California, then a public park is acceptable. If others in your community happen to be at the same park or public space to celebrate the holidays as well, you are not allowed to mingle among them as that would exceed the three household rule.

Chanting and singing are strongly discouraged. If you plan to sing songs or play instruments, you must do so quietly or at a normal speaking voice according to the California Department of Public Health. It states, “Singing, chanting, shouting, and physical exertion significantly increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission because these activities increase the release of respiratory droplets and fine aerosols into the air.” If you have a wind instrument like a trumpet or clarinet, the risk is even higher for spreading Covid19 so instruments like these are strongly discouraged.

Bringing food is acceptable as long as you have the food in disposable separated containers for every person attending your holiday celebration. Disposable containers means you won’t be sharing food “family style” as this would encourage the spread of the Coronavirus. If separate containers doesn’t work for your family, someone can volunteer to serve everyone who is wearing a face covering and “sanitizes their hands frequently.”

Newsom asks that California keep their celebrations “short” because if people are gathered for more than two hours, the higher the risk of them contracting Covid19.

If California residents insist on getting together with their family, Newsom demands these guidelines be followed although he suggests celebrating the holidays “virtually” with your loved ones.