Here are the key details of the Government’s planned easing of social restrictions that will allow friends and loved ones to reunite over the Christmas period and the advice they offer to help make it as safe as possible.
On Christmas day, 25 December, Calderdale’s coronavirus restrictions will be eased to allow people to mix with a slightly wider circle of family and friends. The rules allow people to form “bubbles” of three households on that one day only. The three households in a “Christmas bubble” can mix indoors but not stay overnight. Bubbles can meet each other in each other’s homes; at a place of worship; in an outdoor public space or garden.
What are the rules for Christmas bubbles? Households in your Christmas bubble can’t bubble with anyone else. You cannot mix with your Christmas bubble in hospitality settings, such as pubs/restaurants, or at entertainment venues.
What if I’m already in a support bubble? If you have already formed a support bubble with another household, that counts as one household, so you can join with two other households in a Christmas bubble.
What If I’m self-isolating? People who are self-isolating should not join a Christmas bubble. If someone tests positive or develops coronavirus symptoms up to 48 hours after the Christmas bubble last met, everyone has to self-isolate.
Meeting people not in your bubble: You can meet people not in your bubble, but only outside the home in suitable places such as parks, beaches, open countryside and playgrounds.
Can all my children come home for Christmas? Under-18s whose parents live apart can join two Christmas bubbles, so they can see both parents without being counted as part of another household. University students who travel home will be counted as part of their family household straight away. But if a family has three or more grown-up children not at university, they cannot all form a Christmas bubble with their parents.
Stopping the spread on Christmas Day: When seeing your Christmas bubble, you should keep taking steps to reduce the spread of the virus. This includes meeting outdoors where possible, ensuring indoor spaces get as much fresh air as possible, making space between members of different households wherever you can, washing your hands regularly and for 20 seconds, and following rules on self-isolation if you develop symptoms or test positive for coronavirus.
What if I’m clinically vulnerable? If you are in an existing household or support bubble with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, think carefully. To help reduce the risks to their health, the safest approach would be to celebrate with your household or support bubble and not with others.
Staying Safe Over Christmas – Government Advice
- Be Cautious: We have been working closely together to find a way for family and friends to see each other, even if it is for a short time, and recognising that it must be both limited and cautious.
- Trust Your Own Judgement: Even where it is within the rules, meeting with friends and family over Christmas will be a personal judgement for individuals to take, mindful of the risks to themselves and others, particularly those who are vulnerable.
- Keep Risks Low: We need everyone to think carefully about what they do during this period, balancing some increased social contact with the need to keep the risk of increased transmission of the virus as low as possible.
- Think About The Vulnerable: This is particularly important when considering those who are vulnerable, and before deciding to come together over the festive period we urge the consideration of alternative approaches such as the use of technology or meeting outside.