Coronavirus in Scotland: ‘Covid doesn’t like wrapping paper’ but you should watch your roast potatoes, says Jason Leitch

Scotland’s clinical director has told the Scottish public not to worry about spreading coronavirus through wrapping presents but advised against having a communal bowl for roast potatoes.

Giving what Nicola Sturgeon named his ‘Christmas shopping advice’, National Clinical Director Jason Leitch told the public at Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing that due to the virus dying ‘very quickly’ on rougher surfaces, people should not worry about wrapping presents for loved ones outside of their immediate bubble.

Professor Leitch said: “The virus spreads from person to person and from surface to surface.

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"It likes shinier surfaces better than rough surfaces: it likes glass, plastic worktops and it also quite likes shared utensils but it doesn’t like wrapping paper, cards, envelopes, post.

Jason Leitch warns public of communal potato bowl during Christmas dinner but says not to worry about wrapping paper.
Jason Leitch warns public of communal potato bowl during Christmas dinner but says not to worry about wrapping paper.

"It dies very quickly on rougher surfaces such as that so you shouldn’t worry about Christmas presents in any deep, real way.”

To ensure safety during gift wrapping and opening, Professor Leitch advised people to have hand sanitiser in the room where the Christmas gifts are.

He added: “I would expect you to wash your hands before and after that activity.”

On families eating together for Christmas, Professor Leitch commented that will look ‘a little different’ than last year’s Christmas.

He said: “I wouldn’t have a big bowl of roast potatoes with one spoon in it that all six, seven, eight people share so that should probably be served somewhere else and then served on the plate.

"That kind of minute guidance is not going to be written down by the government - we’re not going to be telling you exactly how you should serve your roast potatoes.”

The national clinical director finished his Christmas gift and roast potato advice by reminding the public to take the necessary safety precautions during their Christmas and Hogmanay festivities.

Mr Leitch said: "If you think about the spread of the virus and, remember every single person who catches this virus gets surprised when they catch it, so it could be in the room so you just have to think about the distancing, the surfaces, the stuff you’re touching but please don’t worry about your Christmas presents.”

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