In this newsletter:
Changes to Christmas Bubbles
The Government made a public announcement on Saturday 19th December on changes to Christmas bubbles.
As the situation evolves very quickly, we advise that you check the official Government website for all the latest guidance information to keep yourself and others safe this Christmas.
Christmas bubble guidance
You can only form a Christmas bubble on Christmas Day. If you choose to form a Christmas bubble you must:
- keep your Christmas bubble as small as possible. Two other households is a maximum, not a target
- do not join a Christmas bubble with anyone from a Tier 4 area
- stop all unnecessary social contact outside your immediate household as soon as possible and for at least five days before you meet other households in your bubble
- only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
- only see your bubble on Christmas Day. Do not stay overnight and keep your visits as short as possible
- stay local where possible. Avoid travelling from a high prevalence to a low prevalence area
- only meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in tier 3 and do not meet socially with friends and family that you do not live with in your home or garden unless they are part of your Christmas bubble
Guidance on how to reduce the spread in your Christmas bubble
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.
You must not visit another household if you, or anyone in your household, is feeling unwell or self-isolating. You should get a free NHS test if you have symptoms, have been asked to by your local council or your hospital, or are taking part in a government pilot project.
To protect you and your loved ones, think carefully about the risks of forming a bubble. Only do so if you feel you need to. One in three people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it. Everybody in a Christmas bubble is responsible for taking clear steps to prevent catching and spreading the virus. If you do not follow these rules, you increase the risk of catching the virus, and spreading it to your friends and family.
You should take particular care to follow this advice if you are in a Christmas bubble with anybody who is vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable.
If you are over 70 or clinically extremely vulnerable
It is particularly important to think about the greater risks to more vulnerable people whilst recognising how hard it can be to maintain good physical and mental health without essential contact with family and friends.
If you are over 70 or clinically extremely vulnerable think carefully about the risks. The safest approach may be not to form a Christmas bubble
If you are permitted to form a Christmas bubble and choose to do so, be especially careful to observe the guidance:
- meet outdoors where possible
- wash your hands regularly
- keep a distance from those you do not live with
- if you meet indoors, ensure good ventilation by letting in fresh air
If you are in an existing household or support bubble with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, the safest approach would be not to join a wider Christmas bubble to help reduce the risks to their health.
If you’re in a support bubble
If you are in an existing support bubble with someone who lives in a Tier 4 area, you can see each other on Christmas Day. If you choose to do so, you must not join a Christmas bubble with anyone else.
Existing support bubbles count as one household towards the three household limit. This means that if you are in a support bubble outside a Tier 4 area, you can collectively form a Christmas bubble with two other households. This applies only to support bubbles as set out in law. You should, however, consider the risks of doing so and keep your Christmas bubble as small as possible.
If you are in a support bubble with someone who is over 70 or 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.
The two households in a support bubble can choose to join separate Christmas bubbles, but should avoid contact with each other both before and after Christmas Day.
If you’re in a childcare bubble
You can continue to use a childcare bubble on 25 December, including in a Tier 4 area, but only if reasonably necessary for the purposes of childcare and where there are no reasonable alternatives. If you want to meet socially with the other household in your childcare bubble, you should include them in your Christmas bubble, but can only do so if neither of you live in a Tier 4 area. You and the other household in your childcare bubble would count as two households towards the three household limit for Christmas bubbles.
Seperated parents of children under 18
Children (under-18) whose parents do not live together may be part of both parents’ Christmas bubbles, if their parents choose to form separate bubbles. Nobody else should be in two bubbles.
If one or both parents live in a Tier 4 area, children may continue to move between their parents’ houses, but neither household is permitted to join a Christmas bubble with others.
If you choose not to form a Christmas bubble
If you choose not to form a Christmas bubble, you must continue to follow the rules in tier 3, this means you must avoid mixing indoors or in private gardens with any other households and the rule of six applies in public outdoor settings.
Following identification of a new variant of the virus, international travel may be increasingly restricted because of domestic regulations. Different rules apply in England, Scotland, WalesandNorthern Ireland.
Other countries have closed borders, and may restrict movement or bring in new quarantine rules with little warning. Check our advice on things to consider and be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.
Don’t Forget Your Face Coverings
If you’re out and about finishing off your Christmas shopping, don’t forget to wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
But make sure you wear it right, by covering both your nose and mouth.
We Hope You Have A Happy and Safe Christmas
As Jonathan Gribbin, Director of Public Health for Nottinghamshire has previously said: “How each and every one of us adheres to the guidance during the Christmas period will make a significant difference to the overall rate of infection in the days and weeks to come. By continuing to stick to those rules today, you will give our communities the best possible chance of keeping rates low and helping to give everyone the prospect of a safe New Year.”
We know that the Government announcement on Christmas has come as a blow to us. It’s been a tough year for us all and we’re not ending it in the way that we had hoped.
It’s ok to be upset, angry and frustrated at this situation as we’re all human. Lean in to those feelings and let it out, just know that if you are struggling this Christmas there is help, if you are struggling mentally see our support section below to find what support you can access to help you through.
If you’re feeling alone and need some extra help you can get in touch with the Nottinghamshire Community Support Hub.
If you know someone who is struggling, give them a call and check in to help them feel connected.
This year has been like no other, but we’ve all made it this far and it’s by helping each other we’ve got through it.
As Judy Garland sings at Christmas time, ‘Someday soon we all shall be together if the fates allow, until then we’ll muddle through somehow’.
When we can get back to normal we will hug those we love a little harder and for a little longer, as we’ll appreciate it so much more. Let’s all have a safe Christmas so that we can come back together in 2021.
We hope you have a happy and safe Christmas.
Christmas bin collections
Don’t forget that because of Christmas, your bin collections will be slightly different for the next two weeks. We’ve created this calendar to help clear up any confusion.
Due to the Christmas break, our opening hours are slightly different.
Our staff are still working from home and our offices are currently only open to those who have booked an appointment.
Check out website for the full list of opening hours.
The Mayor’s Christmas Service
On Sunday we shared this year’s Mayor’s Christmas Service. If you missed it you can still watch it on our YouTube Channel.
Thank you to all that have been involved in contributing to this year’s service and thank you to Malcolm Batchelor – Director of Music at St Mary’s Church, Attenborough for producing and editing this video.
Please note that some photos in the video were taken prior to the pandemic in March.
The Mayor’s Christmas Card
Due to this year’s pandemic, The Mayor, Councillor Janet Patrick has shared a virtual Christmas card this year with season greetings for Broxtowe.
You can view the card on our YouTube channel.
Broxtowe’s Christmas Concert
If you missed out Christmas concert on Saturday you can still watch the session on our Facebook page.
You can hear original songs and Christmas covers from our local artists including; Richard Jenkins, Ellie Keegan. George Gadd, Harrison Rimmer, Warren Ireland and Ben Smith.
Support to get essential supplies
If you are vulnerable and need help to get food, medicine or community support, please get in touch with the Nottinghamshire Community Support Hub www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/coronaviruscommunityhub or call 0300 500 80 80
In some circumstances, if you are required by law to self-isolate, you may be supported by a payment of £500, payable from Broxtowe Borough Council. Find out more about this scheme and other financial support at www.broxtowe.gov.uk/testandtracepayment or call 0115 917 7777
The impact of the pandemic on you and your loved ones and not being able to enjoy all of the activities you would normally be involved in can all have an impact on your health. It is important to remember to look after yourself. Useful resources to support you, your family and friends can be found at www.broxtowe.gov.uk/wellbeing or call the Nottinghamshire Mental Health Helpline between 9.00am and 1.00pm, seven days a week on 0300 555 0730.
Accessing NHS services
If you have symptoms or a health concern you are worried about, please contact your GP practice. GP practices are still open and here for you. When you call your practice, you may be offered a consultation online or over the phone. If they feel they need to see you in person, they will invite you in for a face to face appointment. Read more for guidance at https://nottsccg.nhs.uk/covid-19/gp-appointment-guidance/
Staying up to date
The easiest way to stay up to date is by checking our dedicated Coronavirus webpages.
They contain useful information on:
We also share daily updates on our social media accounts and will be sending you this email bulletin every Friday.
Please share the information in this email bulletin with friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to help us pass on these important messages, particularly if they’re not online.
Please also encourage anyone who isn’t already subscribed to this Email Me Service to sign up at www.broxtowe.gov.uk/emailme so they can receive these updates.
Find the latest guidance from the Government website.