The past 12 months have been the most challenging that many of us will have encountered and so it is understandable that people are looking forward to some much-needed respite during the festive period.
Christmas is usually the time of year when we all look forward to spending time with family and friends, but with rates of the virus rising in our city and remaining high, we all need to think carefully about with who we choose to spend Christmas with this year.
You’ll be aware that the government has confirmed that people from three different households can spend time together between December 23 and 27 – that’s the same three households across the five days, not three different ones each day.
But I urge you to see this not as a requirement, but a permission if you can make it as safe as possible for everyone involved.
Whilst I’m sure that everyone can’t wait to see their loved ones, please remember that the safest way to spend time with family and friends is either online, on the phone or outside. This advice is particularly important if you or your relatives are elderly or vulnerable.
So instead, you could organise a walk or get together at the local park, or have a family get together online. Remember, if you do meet outdoors, you must be socially distanced at all times.
If you do meet indoors, try to give each other space and stay two metres apart, wash your hands regularly and open windows for 10-15 minutes every hour or so, to allow good ventilation. You’re more likely to catch Covid in poorly ventilated places.
Clean all your surfaces, handles and objects that people might touch and have hand sanitiser available too. Try and reduce the number of people in one room, meet in the largest space possible and rearrange furniture to make more space.
If you’re going out Christmas shopping, remember your face mask and hand sanitiser. Keep your distance from others who are shopping, avoid peak times of the day when stores get busy and try not to queue close together for shops.
I know we continue to ask a lot of our residents, who have already made great sacrifices. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but for now, let’s keep on working together to stop Covid in its tracks.
And please don’t forget that help is at hand if you’re struggling right now. The council’s coordination hub is continuing to support families in need of help and everyday essentials. You can contact the hub by visiting the council’s coronavirus webpage or by calling 01733 747474. (more…)