Important guidelines for Christmas

Hi all,

As you’ve almost certainly seen on the national news, there’s significant concern about coronavirus infection rates in London and the SE, and that this spread may be being driven by the new variant that’s been identified being more infections than other variants of Covid-19.

This has led to the introduction of tighter restrictions – a new “Ter 4: Stay at Home” – in London and the SE, and a change to the Christmas Bubble arrangements across the country.

People are now only able to form a “Christmas Bubble” of up to 3 households on Christmas Day itself (rather than for the period 23-27 December).

A Christmas bubble cannot include households form Tier 4 area.

The guidance has been updated, and if people need to check the details (for example, around Support Bubbles), you can find it here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family

You can check the restrictions for each Tier here

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know

Cumbria remains in Tier 2 and the expectation is that this will next be reviewed at the end of December.

The guidance for all Tiers has now been updated to advise that people remain local (as usual, with a number of exemptions, including around work, volunteering and caring responsibilities).

For Tier 2, the Travel section of the guidance now starts “Where possible, you should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area, meaning your village or town, or part of a city. You should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area, meaning your village or town, or part of a city, where possible.”

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-2-high-alert

There are obviously going to be times when it’s necessary to travel a little a further afield (particularly if, like me, your village doesn’t have any shops in it……), but the intention is clearly to encourage people to cut down unnecessary journeys, and to stay close to home where that’s reasonably possible.

I’m sure many of you will have had Christmas plans disrupted by these announcements; it’s certainly proving to be a really difficult winter, and so please do be kind to yourselves as well as all those you’re helping.

Remember there’s information on mental health support services on the County Council website if you come across people who need more than a friendly listening ear:

https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/welfare/wellbeing.asp

And finally, another huge thank you for all the work you’re putting in to support people across Cumbria.