New government guidance announced on December 19 states that bubbles will now be allowed for Christmas Day only, not for the previously scheduled five-day period.
We still need to be very cautious with our behaviour on Christmas Day. It’s vital to keep our guard up and not throw away all our hard work over the last few weeks to keep our cases low. If we want to stay in Tier One in January, we need to be sensible for the next few weeks.
Christmas bubbles explained
On Christmas Day only you can choose three other households to meet with and form a support bubble. This bubble is then “locked in” or “exclusive”. .
There is no limit to the number of people in your bubble, providing it is only your family household and two other family households.
In the time before you form your bubble, everyone should try to minimise their contact with other people as much as possible.
If you are in a bubble, you should not go off to meet other friends and families and then come back to your support bubble.
You should stick together as one household for the duration of the bubble.
You cannot go out to a pub, cafe or restaurant in your bubble, you can only go to each other’s houses.
Young people coming back from university count as a member of their main household and don’t need to be their own household in the bubble.
Children who spend time between separated parents who are in different support bubbles may be part of both bubbles. They are the only people allowed to swap bubbles.
While you are in your household bubbles please try to:
- keep the rooms ventilated
- clean shared touch points or frequently used spaces often
- wash your hands regularly
If you have chosen to form a different Christmas bubble from other people in your household – the people you live with normally – you should take additional steps to prevent the opportunity for the virus to spread within your household, and between bubbles.
This might include taking extra precautions such as cleaning surfaces and contact points like door handles. Letting in as much fresh air as possible after someone has visited your household
What to do if you get symptoms in a bubble:
If you start to feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms and you are in a bubble you should isolate yourself in the house from the rest of the bubble and book a test. Testing centres will be open over Christmas. Book a test by visiting the gov.uk testing page. or call 119 if you can’t get online. The rest of the bubble will need to self-isolate and not leave the house until the results are received. If someone has tested positive the rest of the bubble will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the start of that person’s symptoms. If the person’s test result is negative, everyone can return to the Christmas bubble or tier rules. More information about getting a test is available on our getting tested page.
Coronavirus can spread easily through family members. You can find advice on how to stop the spread of the virus in your home on our webpages.
The rule of six
You should try not to meet people who have formed a Christmas bubble with other people.
If you don’t form a bubble you can meet as a rule of 6 as we are in Tier One.
If you’re meeting indoors as part of the rule of six, please still keep a social distance, wipe surfaces, ventilate rooms.
New government guidance is for everyone in all tiers to stay local as much as possible over the Christmas period. This is unless it is for education, care responsibilities, medical appointments or caring responsibilities.
If you have to travel to a Tier Two area, follow Tier Two restrictions – avoid travel to Tier Three and Four areas.
In Tier One you can meet up with work colleagues in a café, pub, restaurant but there should be no more than 6 of you at a time.
You shouldn’t book several tables of 6 in the same place near each other. While this seems like an obvious “work around” the rules…the likelihood is that rules might get forgotten and you might swap seats to socialise.
We recently shared an example where this happened in the weekend before lockdown. Two tables of friends went for dinner, where one person was positive. It resulted in roughly 20 cases and several businesses in a small town having to close.
Please be responsible and help us to keep the cases low.
Carol signing is still permitted as we are in a tier one area, but you will need to stick to the rule of six while you are performing indoors or outside.
Because Coronavirus is spread by small water droplets, singing can increase the risk of transmission. You will need to make sure you are socially distanced from each other and the audience. You must also not mingle or interact with each other.
There is full guidance on the rules available on the Gov.uk website
Care home visiting
You will be able to continue visiting relatives in care homes. Visits should be held with social distance and PPE in place, outside or in other COVID-secure visiting areas.
In homes where testing is available, residents will be able to have visits from up to two visitors each week in all tiers by Christmas. It may be possible for visitors to have physical contact with their loved one if the visitor:
- has a negative test
- is wearing appropriate PPE
- is following other infection control measures determined by the home
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve will look and feel very different in Cornwall this year with no official events planned in any towns.
Cornwall’s towns have already made it clear that the usual events are cancelled. They are urging people to celebrate at home instead of gathering outdoors to help keep everyone safe.
You will only be able to meet in the rule six on New Year’s Eve, Christmas bubbles will no longer apply.
Because we are in Tier One you will be able to have dinner in each other’s homes, or in a restaurant if there are no more than six of you.
Restaurants and Pubs will stop serving alcohol at 10pm and will have to close by 11pm.
Help us to protect Cornwall and our NHS by following the rules and enjoy the festive season safely.