The Christmas party season is now upon us and with it brings the tradition of having a festive kiss under the mistletoe.
However, in the climate of fear over swine flu we are being advised to take precautions when swooping in for a quick peck under the foliage.
Etiquette advisers Debrett’s have issued advise to help keep partygoers health aware this year, starting with the opinion that anyone feeling unwell should stay away altogether.
For that mistletoe moment the advice is to briefly touch cheeks with the other person, without leaving a saliva trail. Even air kissing with an audible ‘mwah’ is off limits to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Debrett’s etiquette adviser, Jo Bryant, said: “Personal space is a big issue for a lot of people, regardless of whether there is a national swine flu outbreak.
“People are more aware of spreading germs this year and there is a certain set of manners surrounding this.
“If you are going to kiss under the mistletoe this year, people should remember others may not want your lurgy over Christmas just for the sake of a peck.”
However, a kiss is still deemed to be more hygienic than greeting with a handshake given our germ-laden palms.
Merry Christmas Everyone