Changes to Christmas bubbles
The Prime Minister has announced changes to the rules on forming Christmas bubbles. This is in response to rising case numbers and the discovery of a new variation of the Covid-19 virus which is more easily spread.
You are now only allowed to form a Christmas bubble, with up to two other households, on Christmas Day.
This should be considered a maximum and not a target to aim for.
At all other times you must follow the rules for Tier 2.
Dr Kathryn Cobain, Worcestershire’s Director of Public Health, has issued a Christmas message explaining more about the mutation of the virus and top tips to help you and others stay safe.
One in three cases of coronavirus are transmitted by people who do not have symptoms. That’s why you are urged to act as if you do have the infection and to make sure you follow the rules and do the basics – wash your hands regularly, wear face coverings and keep a safe distance from others.
We know how hard this is for everyone. We thank you for playing your part in helping to keep the infection rate down in our district and protecting others.
Things to do at Christmas
Here are some ideas to help you celebrate with friends and family safely this Christmas.
Support for you
Unemployment is increasing across our district as a result of the pandemic. We know this is pushing many people into hardship.
If you are struggling financially then the earlier you seek help, the sooner action can be taken to support you.
You can find advice and links to organisations you can contact on our money advice page.
Food, medicines and other support for the vulnerable
If you are a vulnerable person and need help accessing food, medicines or other support then please visit the Worcestershire Here 2 Help website.
We are also working with other organisations to support families in need during the school holidays.
Help for your mental wellbeing
The announcement about changes to Christmas bubbles was a major disappointment for many of us and may have caused upset and difficult feelings.
If you are struggling with your mental health, especially at this time of year, then the mental health charity Mind has some tips and advice to help.
Worcestershire Healthy Minds supports people aged 16 and over, who are experiencing problems such as stress, anxiety, low mood and depression.
You can also contact your GP for support if you need to.
Help for your physical health
If you are thinking of making 2021 the year you will be more active and get into shape then the NHS Better Health website has lots of support to help you achieve your goal.
Start by taking the how are you quiz and get your free personal health score which will point you in the right direction.
Our leisure centres are open and our leisure operator has gone to great lengths to make sure they are Covid-19 secure so you can get active safely.
Shop locally and safely with free parking on offer
If you still have last minute gifts to buy then please support your local traders as much as possible.
They have made a massive effort to make their businesses Covid-19 Secure so you can shop safely and with confidence.
If you are not comfortable heading out to your local high street then you can take advantage of their online, click and collect and delivery services.
If you are shopping in person then read our top tips to keep you safe.
Parking is also free in all Wychavon District Council pay and display car parks until 3 January 2021.
Christmas and New Year bin collection changes
We are making changes to our waste and recycling collections over the festive period.
We have also produced some top tips to help you recycle right at Christmas and reduce your waste.
Help us support rough sleepers
We need your help to support rough sleepers this Christmas by remembering see, say, support.
See – if you spot someone sleeping rough.
Say – tell StreetLink what they look like and where they are online at www.streetlink.org.uk, on the app or call 0300 500 0914.
Support – StreetLink will pass the details to our housing team or outreach service who will go and find the individual and begin working with them to offer help and support.
We have helped 36 people to get off the streets since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sadly, a few people have chosen not to take up the help offered. We continue to work with them and to offer support.
Emergency shelters will be opened on cold nights to make sure people who have chosen to continue to sleep rough have somewhere to go when temperatures fall.
If you want to do more then you are encouraged to donate to local registered charities for the homeless or offer to volunteer your time with them.
If you see a person collapsed on the street you should call the emergency services immediately.
Bird flu outbreak
Public Health England has confirmed an outbreak of bird flu among wild birds in Worcestershire. The risk to public health is low but please do not touch dead or sick birds. If you keep poultry or captive birds, even as pets in your back garden, then you need to take action.