Prof Jason Leitch says ‘roast potatoes are not the risk’ and tells Scots families to ‘use the pasting table for Christmas dinner’

Jason Leitch has said Scots families without big tables should consider using things like the pasting table to serve Christmas dinner.

Appearing on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, the National Clinical Director was asked by presenter Martin Geissler how it is possible to keep two metres apart when having half a dozen or more guests sitting around the Christmas table.

“Well, you need a big table,” replied Prof Leitch, “but have you not used a pasting table on the day you've had granny round for Christmas dinner? Or served the kids round the sofa rather than the big table?

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“I think Scotland is innovative enough to manage.

National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch has given more advice on family Christmas meals.
National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch has given more advice on family Christmas meals.

“Remember, we're not suggesting everybody have eight people round. We're hoping, actually, that people will have threes and fours, for a single day. Rather than eight people for the five-day holiday.

“It may be you have to borrow some chairs from people upstairs just to make the distancing a wee bit easier,” he added.

Pro Leitch had previously told the public at Wednesday’s Scottish Government coronavirus briefing not to worry about spreading Covid through wrapping presents – but advised against having a communal bowl for roast potatoes.

He said on Wednesday: “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."

Asked about this by Geissler on GMS, Prof Leitch explained: “I used the roast potato analogy as a kind of example of how you might do Christmas dinner safely.

“You can have the roast potatoes – the roast potatoes are not your risk. Your risk is things that you share... so big spoons, cutlery we share with each other. The big shared buffets, I'm afraid, are out.

“I'm not suggesting you should take your own cutlery,” he added. “I am suggesting you shouldn't share cutlery.”

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