Residents who shielded during first wave of covid urged to take extra care if forming a household bubble over Christmas
Residents across Wales who shielded during the first wave the pandemic are being urged to take additional care if forming a household bubble during the Christmas period.
The advice comes after UK-wide measures were announced aimed at helping people come together during the festive period.
Up to three exclusive households will be able to meet up during a five-day Christmas period of 23 to 27 December in the UK.
Although the 130,000 Welsh residents who were asked to shield during the spring and part of the summer are not being asked to do so again, they are being urged to consider the “increased risk of infection” if they choose to form a Christmas bubble.
The Welsh Government say: “We recognise that many people may want to be with their friends and family over the festive period, particularly after an incredibly difficult year.
“You can choose to be part of a Christmas bubble if you are clinically extremely vulnerable, but it does involve greater risks for you as you will be increasing the number of people you have contact with. You will minimise your risk of infection if you limit social contact with people that you do not live with. It is important that you and the other people in your Christmas bubble consider these risks carefully before agreeing to form a bubble. Forming a Christmas bubble is a personal choice and should be balanced against the increased risk of infection.
“If you do decide to form a Christmas bubble it is advised that you maintain social distance from those you don’t normally live with at all times, avoiding physical contact.
“Everyone should wash their hands regularly and it is important to keep the space where you spend time with those you don’t normally live with well ventilated and to clean touch points regularly, such as door handles and surfaces. You may want to think about who you sit next to, including during meals, and also consider wearing a face covering indoors where social distancing may be difficult.
“If you don’t feel comfortable spending time with other people indoors, think of other ways that you can safely spend time together, for example on walks outdoors or supported by technology, and how you can make that time feel different and special. Going outdoors carefully for exercise is also encouraged. It is important that you do not feel pressured to celebrate Christmas in an environment that makes you anxious.
“There may be a lot of expectations and pressure around celebrating Christmas together, but you should feel comfortable to do what is right for you over this period. To do that, the other people in your Christmas bubble need to understand your needs and increased risk. They must also be extra vigilant in the days before you get together, reducing any unnecessary contact with people, especially as some people with the virus have no symptoms.
“The Christmas bubble period ends on 27 December and this guidance only applies until this date.”
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