Celebrate safely this Christmas

Public Health Dorset is urging residents to be cautious when considering forming Christmas bubbles over the festive season to minimise risks to friends and family.

A change in rules over Christmas means that a maximum of three households can form an exclusive Christmas bubble on Christmas Day only.

Rachel Partridge, Assistant Director of Public Health for Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Councils, said: “We are asking people to think very carefully about their Christmas plans. 2020 has been a tough year and we would all love to spend the festive period with loved ones, but it’s important to recognise that COVID-19 is still very much with us.

“Please consider the risks involved to vulnerable people and only form a Christmas bubble if you feel you absolutely need to. Wherever possible, discuss alternatives to meeting up in person as the risks of COVID-19 remain the same during this period.”

If you decide to see loved ones on Christmas Day, Public Health Dorset has some tips on how to celebrate safely:

  • Keep your bubble small – the more people in your bubble, the more likely the virus is to spread
  • Keep your gatherings short – the more time you spend together, the higher the risk of transmission
  • Keep your celebrations local – stay within your town or village and avoid travelling to other areas.
  • Think of the most vulnerable and the potential consequences for them of catching COVID-19
  • If you can, meet outdoors where the virus doesn’t spread so easily - going for a walk together or exchanging gifts in the garden is a safer option than gathering indoors
  • If you are meeting indoors, keep your home ventilated by opening windows to let fresh air in
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces like door handles and light switches often

You can find more information about how to celebrate Christmas safely in the Christmas bubble guidance.

Posted on Wednesday 23 December 2020