Sage Covid advice says ‘women carry burden of maintaining Christmas family traditions’

According to the Sage document, women ‘carry the burden of creating family traditions’ at Christmas (Image: Getty Images)

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The latest Sage advice to help families stay safe at Christmas has been criticized for sexism and using dated gender roles.

A document put out today states that "women carry the burden of organising the family and Christmas traditions during the festive holiday".

Sage, the government's scientific advisory committee, has released a document sharing precautionary measures that it advises families to take over the Christmas holidays.

It recommends involving everyone in the decision-making for Christmas plans, placing particular emphasis on women because, it states, they "carry the burden of creating and maintaining family traditions".

The document reads: "Women carry the burden of creating and maintaining family traditions and activities at Christmas.

"Messaging should be supportive of women adapting traditions and encouraging those around them to share the burden and to be supportive of any alterations to adapt for Covid-19 restrictions."

The Sage document says women should definitely be included in Christmas planning
(Image: Getty Images)

One person asked 'what century are we in' in response to the Sage document
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In response, the BBC's Melissa Hogenboom tweeted: "Not a spoof. The govt's scientific advisory committee literally highlights 'the particular importance of involving women in the decision-making' because the burden of family traditions falls largely on them…Unfortunately v true."

Sophy Ridge from Sky said: "SAGE Christmas document: "Women carry the burden of creating & maintaining family traditions and activities at Christmas" and messaging should support "those around them to share the burden and to be supportive of any alterations" (what century are we in?)."

This week the government announced that rules would be relaxed for a five-day period from December 23 to 27, to allow families and loved ones to see each other.

Families will be able to form a 'Christmas bubble' between December 23 and 27
(Image: Getty Images)

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Up to three households would be able to form a "Christmas bubble" during those five days.

Yet Sage has still warned that Covid-19 could easily spread during this time and people should be as careful as possible. It has come up with a number of ways families could take extra precautions, which it's shared in the document.

They said people should still weigh up whether they could postpone an event or find an alternative like meeting up with people online or staying outside.

Advice included avoiding board games and doing quizzes instead, as board games involve a lot of shared contact.

They also said children should meet grandparents outside if at all possible.

Sage warns against board games, saying quizzes would be better
(Image: Getty Images)

If staying overnight anywhere, it would be better for children to share a bedroom with their parents than with children from another household.

People are also reminded of general advice, including maintaining social distancing, keeping surfaces clean and opening windows to let fresh air in.

Sage said it recognised that the rules in place might "create tensions" among families and therefore, as far as possible, a plan should be drawn up ahead of the event.

If one person has coronavirus and goes into a household, they could pass the virus onto as many as 50 per cent of the others there, according to scientists.

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