Managing concerns around festive celebrations with unvaccinated loved ones

With only a few days left until the festive break, many people are filled with excitement, happiness, and joy, as they get to spend time with loved ones. Whilst vaccination rates are on the rise, across the country States are also having to navigate an increase in Covid cases as restrictions are being lifted and people are interacting more with each other for the end of year celebrations. This is causing heightened levels of anxiety and concerns around preparing for a Covid-safe festive season. 

Furthermore, you may be concerned about what to do if you have unvaccinated relatives or loved ones, and how to best celebrate together over the festive season. You may feel stuck when contemplating dilemmas such as:

  • “What do we do if our loved ones aren’t vaccinated?”
  • “We want to see our loved ones during the festive season but are concerned about their vaccination status”
  • “We are hosting festive celebrations and don’t want to exclude anyone”
Having respectful conversations

Whether you’re hosting a festive party or seeing loved ones during the festive season, it’s important to have an open and honest conversation about any concerns you are having during this festive season. Navigating these conversations can be challenging, so here are some tips to initiate these conversations with unvaccinated relatives or loved ones.  

  • When approaching a conversation with unvaccinated relatives about festive celebrations, be assertive and express your position on the matter, whilst always upholding the relationship. Having the conversation early on is important. Make sure to be respectful, don’t violate the rights of the person you are talking to and deliver the conversation without heightened emotion.  Make it clear that you want to spend time with them, but need to also respect and look after your own health.
  • Making a plan is helpful in preparing a fun and safe festive celebration. Ask all guests to take a Covid test prior to arriving, whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated. This can help to avoid conflict by asking everyone to take a test, rather than just those who are unvaccinated.  
  • Consider having the festive celebrations outdoors. Outdoor gatherings can help to minimise risks and are a safe way to celebrate. You can go down to the local park and have a picnic, or to the beach to enjoy the sunshine with your loved ones.  
  • If you still do not feel comfortable socialising with loved ones who are not vaccinated, that is ok. Connect with loved ones by organising a video call, doing a virtual present opening or virtual lunch together for the festive celebrations. So even though you may not be there in person, you are able to stay connected with family.  

Preparing a Covid-safe holiday period is important in looking out for both yourself and your loved ones’ health and wellbeing. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious in the lead up to the festive season, reach out for support to loved ones, or a professional such as your GP, psychologist or Employee Assistance Program.