COVID-19: How risky are your plans? Run them through our three-risks rating and our seven-point check.


Here, we help you to understand how risky various activities might be in exposing you to COVID-19 and potential superspreader events. We list popular activities by level of risk and give you a handy seven-point check for each activity. Stay safe, stay healthy!

You may be following the guidelines in place for preventing the spread of COVID-19, but that doesn't mean other people are. There's a huge concern that social and religious events, family gatherings, travel and the increased consumption of alcohol will result in superspreader events - where one person infects many others. Avoiding superspreader events is key protecting yourself and your loved ones as we face a third wave of the pandemic.

The third wave in South Africa coincides with the start of the 2021 flu season. This means there's a double risk of infection for us all. This is especially concerning for people at a high risk of becoming severely ill from flu and COVID-19. We can be infected with both viruses at the same time, so getting our flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available is really important this year.

- Want to better understand the flu vaccine? Read 7 must-know flu truths to help you to stay safe and know the right questions to ask your doctor about the vaccine.

Safe, medium-risk and high-risk activities

- What should you take with you when heading out?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us that we should always have a face mask, tissues (which must be thrown away as soon as they've been used), and hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol.

- Here's a list of activities you might be considering, rated according to your risk for COVID-19 exposure (or you can view the infographic here):

Low-risk activities
Safest for you and your loved ones
Attending religious services online
Connecting with family and friends online
Grocery shopping (avoiding crowded places) and selecting online shopping where possible
Cooking a meal with the people you live with and limiting your interaction with others
Ordering take-out from a restaurant or having it delivered to your home
Enjoying an Easter egg hunt at home with close family and limiting your interaction with others
Opening gifts at home rather than at parties or social events attended by large groups of people
Exercising outdoors: playing golf or tennis, going for a walk, or running or cycling alone or with a friend in a safe space (always avoid crowds) Camping
Visiting the beach or a public swimming pool if you can practise physical distancing. Wear your facemask if you're engaging with others, but not when you're swimming.
Visiting your healthcare practitioner when you need medical assistance
Eating in a restaurant where you are seated outdoors and can maintain social distance from others
Taking a holiday with another family or friends if everyone has been taking care to prevent exposure to COVID-19 in the weeks before the holiday
Play dates among older children (limiting numbers of children as far as possible)
Medium-risk activities
Safe only if you reduce your risk by wearing a face mask correctly, washing your hands correctly and practising physical distancing
Working in a shared office
Taking kids to a playground
Getting a hair cut
Eating in a restaurant indoors (your risk becomes higher if the restaurant is busy and you are there for a while)
Travelling by plane
Staying at a hotel or other venue that accommodates many people (if you are, spend as little time as possible in common areas like reception and lobbies)
Going to a movie or the theatre where people sit close together, indoors, for an extended amount of time
Going to a casino
Having a meal outdoors at your own or someone else's house with a few people attending
Attending or hosting a small outdoor picnic
Using a public toilet (always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds afterwards)
Visiting a mall
Visiting someone elderly at their home
Working out with others in a group, especially indoors
Working out at the gym
Play dates between younger children
Using public transport
High-risk activity
Avoid these if you can. If you can't, it's critical that you stay safe by wearing a face mask correctly, washing your hands correctly and often, and keeping a safe physical distance at all times.
Attending a religious event where the place of worship is very full and physical distancing is not possible
Going to an indoor or outdoor concert where people are close together and possibly drinking alcohol, which impairs our judgement
Going to any event where people will be singing, talking loudly or shouting (perhaps to be heard over background noise). These actions increase the risk of being in contact with COVID-19 viral particles that spread through the air.
Attending a large social gathering at someone's home
Hugging friends or shaking their hands when you meet them
Attending a wedding, funeral or other large social event
Going for a drink at a bar, especially indoors
Going to a nightclub or party, especially at an indoor venue
Going out with one or more people when you feel unwell
Eating food from a buffet
Not wearing a face mask, washing your hands or keeping a safe physical distance - measures that protect us from exposure to COVID-19

- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more detail on staying safe in a range of activities, so you can explore the ins and outs of each option.

There's still more to deciding the risk you may face!

In addition to understanding the risks set out above, take each activity through the seven checks below.

TOP TIP: Write or print this checklist and put it on your fridge or in your car, or save it to your mobile phone (screen grab it now):

Your level of COVID-19 infection risk depends on: To keep safe:
1. Other people: How likely are they to stick to COVID-19 preventative measures? Think about who will attend the event and whether any factors (like alcohol use) may affect their judgement.
2. Location: Is the event inside or outside? It's safer to be outdoors than indoors, as fresh air dilutes and moves COVID-19 viral particles.
3. Crowds: How many people will be there? The fewer people attending, the better
4. Space: Will I be in close contact with others? Stay at least two metres away from others and especially from anyone who is sick.
5. Time: How long will I be exposed to other people? Limit your time spent in crowded, public areas to limit your COVID-19 exposure risk.
6. Surfaces: Are there lots of high-touch surfaces and could I come into contact with them? Avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces, If you must make contact, sanitise your hands first and wash them immediately afterwards.
7. Hotspot area: Are there a high number of COVID-19 infections in the area? Is it a COVID-19 hotspot? Keep up to date on COVID-19 hotspot areas with Discovery's real-time data

- Want to make it as simple as remembering 3 Vs and 3 Cs? Read all about the 3 Vs of recognising super-spreader events and the 3 Cs of avoiding high-risk settings.


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