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Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council – 14/12

Posted on 15th December, 2020 in News

All our help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-latest-advice/

This page is refreshed through the day so please check in regularly to keep across developments and news.

Public Health dashboard: Detailed Public Health information dashboards are available on our website www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus just scroll down to ‘Covid-19 dashboard’. These are updated daily.

Top stories today:

Plan ahead for Christmas

Christmas will be like no other this year and most of us will be celebrating it differently. In this bulletin we are setting out some of the information, advice and guidelines that will apply. Remember Somerset is currently in Tier 2, so please follow the rules. https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions

Somerset Public Health and Council leaders will be online this Thursday night (17 December) for a live Christmas coronavirus question and answer session.

With the festive season fast approaching, a vaccination programme now underway in Somerset, and a review of the national tier system this week, Somerset County Council’s Director of Public Health Trudi Grant and Leader David Fothergill will have the latest information and advice for local residents and will answer any questions.

The live briefing will be broadcast via Microsoft Teams from 7pm. You’ll need to download the Microsoft Teams app before watching and use this link.

You can submit questions in advance to communications@somerset.gov.uk or post them during the event.

Christmas bubbles

From 23 December to 27 December, you can choose to form a Christmas bubble which allows you to spend time together in private homes, to attend places of worship, or meet in a public outdoor place. From 28 December, you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area and Christmas bubbles will no longer apply.

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Travel over the holiday season

If you’re part of a Christmas bubble this year to visit family or friends, you’re probably starting to think about your travel plans.

The government’s rules say you should not travel to see your bubble before Wednesday 23 December or travel back after Sunday 27 December except in exceptional circumstances (for example, if a member of your Christmas bubble develops coronavirus symptoms and you are required to self-isolate). Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel between Tuesday 22 and Monday 28 December.

It’s likely that transport routes will be busier than normal, so please:

  • plan ahead, check for disruption before you leave, and avoid the busiest routes, as well as busy times
  • avoid making unnecessary stops during your journey
  • don’t share a car with people not in your household or Christmas bubble
  • where possible, keep your distance from other people when you travel
  • wash or sanitise your hands regularly
  • wear a face covering on public transport in England unless you’re exempt.

You can find lots of information below.

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Shop local to support Somerset’s economy

The impact of the national lockdowns and Tier restrictions is continuing to be felt by businesses across Somerset so shopping locally and supporting Somerset’s retailers and traders is really important.

It means your money stays locally, boosting the local economy, supporting jobs and livelihoods for thousands of residents.

Please remember if you are visiting the high street, to keep to the national health and safety guidance to help protect yourself and others. This includes:

  • wearing a face covering inside any shop or business
  • keeping a safe distance from people outside of your household
  • washing your hands or using sanitiser frequently
  • using cashless payments when possible.

Clinton’s Covid catch-up

The second ‘Weekly Covid Catch up’ video, fronted by former BBC Points West correspondent Clinton Rogers, looks at the launch of the vaccination programme and important guidance to follow. The weekly bulletins aim to help people understand how Covid-19 is affecting Somerset, and what we can all be doing to help beat the virus and will be shared on social media – please share through your networks. This week’s video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=-VqoL-jjFJk&feature=youtu.be

Library Choice for festive season

Pop in and try something new with the ‘Library Choice’ service at Somerset Libraries today. The Library Choice Service is where library customers complete a simple form advising staff what kind of books and authors they like to read. Staff will then do their best to pick out a number of books which may suit.

The service has been hugely popular over lockdowns, with customers saying how much they have enjoyed their ‘mystery reads’ picked out for them by friendly, knowledgeable library staff.

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Covid-19 Mobile Testing Unit heads to Yeovil

A Covid-19 Mobile Testing Unit has been set up at Westlands in Yeovil, as Somerset County Council continues to make testing more accessible to areas with acute need.

Anyone wishing to get tested must book a test in advance, and tests are only available for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

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