THE IRISH public have been given some frankly astonishing advice on how to stay safe from Covid-19 during Christmas this year.
Trinity College immunologist Professor Luke O'Neill has insisted that there should be no passing of gravy during Christmas dinner, that everyone should bring their own plates and cutlery, and that vulnerable people should be sat beside an open window.
Speaking on RTE's Today with Claire Byrne, Prof O'Neill stressed the importance of adhering to health guidelines, such as social distancing and keeping indoor areas well ventilated, but also insisted on other, more bizarre measures.
"First of all bring your own dinnerware, then there's less touching of things," he said.
"Have a single person in the kitchen doing all the serving, because the more people you have, the more chances it's going to spread.
"Don't pass the gravy boat.
"Stagger around the table. Don't sit opposite someone, have someone diagonal and a bit of distance between you."
He went on to say that it was important to reduce the amount of time a large number of people spend together in the same room, indicating that playing games with each other all evening was ill-advised.
"Keep it down to a minimum at a time basically," Prof O'Neill said.
"We can't be having 10 hours in a stuffy room together playing family games, that's not going to work.
He then insisted that vulnerable people should be placed in well-ventilated areas, such as near an open window.
"Open the window, stick grandpa by the window, and [have a] good breeze blowing through it.
"You can have a heater in your house if you get cold," he added.
The immunologist cited guidance from the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention for Thanksgiving, adding that by following these rules, any potential spread of Covid-19 will be reduced.
"It's possible to have a Christmas together, that is the important thing," he said.