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Coronavirus Update: New Christmas Restrictions

Posted on 22nd 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:

New Christmas restrictions for Somerset

Government restrictions around Christmas changed at the weekend with Somerset staying in Tier 2 but some areas in the South East moving to Tier 4.
It is vital that we take personal responsibility this Christmas to limit the spread of the virus and protect our friends and families, particularly if they are vulnerable. One in three people with coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it, and the more people you see, the more likely it is that you will catch or spread coronavirus.

As Somerset remains in Tier 2 this means you may see a maximum of two other households (your ‘Christmas bubble’) on Christmas Day. You cannot see anyone from a Tier 4 area.

You should think very carefully about the risks and only form a Christmas bubble if you feel you absolutely need to.

Please remember:

  • keep your Christmas bubble as small as possible. Two other households is a maximum, not a target
  • do not join a Christmas bubble with anyone from a Tier 4 area
  • only see your bubble on Christmas Day. Do not stay overnight and keep your visits as short as possible
  • stay local where possible. Avoid travelling from a high prevalence to a low prevalence area

Check out the now updated Somerset Covid Catch-up with Clinton Rogers to find out more about staying safe in Somerset this Christmas: https://youtu.be/T-ED6JHv5VU

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Grant boost to help Somerset’s foodbanks meet winter demand

Extra funding has been made available to support Somerset’s foodbanks which have been playing a vital role throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to provide extra support this winter, grants of between £2,000 and £3,000 have been awarded to a number of foodbanks across the county as part of Somerset’s Food Resilience Programme.

The Food Resilience Programme is run by the five councils in Somerset in partnership with several community organisations.

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Look after your neighbour and combat Christmas loneliness

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic means we are all facing an unfamiliar Christmas this year.

Somerset County Council is encouraging everyone to continue the community spirit that has been seen across the county during the pandemic, by looking out for their neighbours during the holidays.

The restrictions in place to try and prevent the spread of Covid-19 will mean that the elderly and those living alone are more likely to feel isolated, and so this year it is more important than ever to embrace the Christmas spirit by checking in with your neighbours and letting them know help is available.

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Opening hours over Christmas and New Year

Our Coronavirus Helpline remains open over the festive season. It’s there to provide help for anyone in Somerset who may need additional support.

Residents are reminded they can call 0300 790 6275 if they need any help themselves or are concerned about relatives or neighbours. Lines are open seven days a week between 8am and 6pm.

Our services will be closed for the statutory Bank Holidays over the festive season. But you can still access information via our website: www.somerset.gov.uk

You can find information on our opening hours below.

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Catch up with our live Q&A

Thank you to everyone who joined our live Q&A late last week for an update on coronavirus in Somerset. The panel, led by Leader of the Council David Fothergill, and Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health, hopes you found it informative.

Although some of the national guidance has now changed, there is still useful information about celebrating Christmas safely and vaccinations. If you missed the session you can catch up via our recording here: Somerset Coronavirus Q&A Session – 17 December 2020 – YouTube

Only book a test if you have symptoms

You can get a free NHS test if you are displaying any of the following symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste

You should only get a test if you are displaying symptoms. Booking a test without symptoms could prevent someone who needs one from getting a test. Remember, it is possible you may be incubating the virus even if you test negative.

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