Celebrate safely this Christmas this year

Published: 18 December 2020

Robyn Dewis

Families should consider the risks involved with creating a bubble

Dr Robyn Dewis, Director of Public Health for Derby City Council, is asking families to carefully consider the risks involved with creating a Christmas bubble.

Although the Government has confirmed that rules around household mixing will be relaxed for several days over the festive period, families should still be aware if the risks and also think about actions they should take to reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19 to friends and family if they choose to create a Christmas bubble.

This year, we’ve all worked so hard to do the right thing for Derby and control the virus. While it will be different, rethinking our Christmas plans really could save lives. With the UK’s vaccination programme beginning, there is a risk that we take our foot off the breaks and stop following essential guidelines, but we’re still a long way off our lives returning to ‘normal’.

Whatever you decide to do, here are some things to think about before the day arrives.

Is creating a bubble the right thing to do?

The law allows up to three households to mix between Wednesday 23 December and Sunday 27 December. For families with vulnerable members, creating a Christmas bubble with other households could be putting them at risk of becoming seriously ill.

Could you meet outside?

Whilst the weather is unpredictable this time of year, the risks of spreading and catching COVID-19 are considerably lower outside. Why not meet in one of Derby’s fantastic parks or open spaces to go for a wintery walk? If you have a garden, could you get wrapped up to toast Christmas outside?

Ahead of the big day

If you are planning to stay with family or friends for Christmas, then you should try to reduce the amount of time you spend outside your home and consider the amount of contact you have with anyone outside your household. This will reduce your risk of infection before seeing loved ones for Christmas.

If you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19

You and your close contacts must follow Government guidance on self-isolation. You must not travel or create a Christmas bubble whilst you and your household are self-isolating. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should book a free test. You can find out more about testing and for COVID-19 in our myth buster article.

How to reduce the risks of catching or spreading COVID-19 if you are meeting inside

If you do create a Christmas bubble with one or two other households, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risks and keep everyone as safe as possible.

  • We’ve all become familiar with keeping our distance and washing our hands and the same should apply in your Christmas bubble. Encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly, keep their distance where possible and cover their mouth if they cough
  • When sitting down for meals or to watch a film, try and stay in household groups
  • Regularly clean contact points such as taps, light switches and handles as well as bathrooms and other shared spaces
  • If you have more than one bathroom, consider assigning them to different households
  • Use a dishwasher, if you have one, to clean crockery and cutlery. If you’re unlucky enough to be on washing up duties, make sure your use hot, soapy water
  • Keep your home well ventilated. It might mean throwing an extra Christmas jumper on but keeping fresh air circulating around the home will disperse any virus particles in the air. You can watch a video about this on our website.

You can read full details of what ‘Christmas Bubble’ entails on the Government website.

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