"Annually across Europe, we see a massive increase in gatherings that bring together people of all ages, including families, religious groups and friends. This brings a significant risk of increased COVID-19 transmission during the upcoming holiday season," according to a WHO Europe announcement on Wednesday.
"Despite some fragile progress, COVID-19 transmission across the European Region remains widespread and intense," the announcement notes. "There is a high risk of further resurgence in the first weeks and months of 2021, and we will need to work together if we are to succeed in preventing it."
The announcement urges people to take precautions during the winter holidays to minimize the risk of Covid-19, such as by postponing or reducing gatherings, keeping gatherings outdoors if possible, wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and avoiding any transportation that might be crowded.
The announcement says: "During the upcoming holidays, WHO recommends that countries carefully consider adapting the setup of seasonal activities to remove the possibility of crowding, especially in confined or closed settings, including during travel."