Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

Tightening of restrictions and Christmas bubbles

Somerset moves into Tier 3 from Boxing Day

Somerset is being moved into Tier 3 from 00.01 on Boxing Day (Saturday 26 December) the Government announced this afternoon. This means the county – and its neighbours Bristol and Gloucestershire – will be subject to tighter restrictions.
Tier 3 is set at Very High Alert level. Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 have no symptoms so will be spreading the virus without realising. We must all take action to protect each other and our hospital capacity.
The restrictions include:
  • No mixing of households indoors, or most outdoor places, apart from support bubbles. Maximum of six in some outdoor public spaces (e.g. parks, public gardens).
  • Hospitality is closed, except takeaway sales, drive-through or delivery.
  • Retail – open.
  • Everyone who can work from home should do so.
  • We advise against overnight stays other than with household or support bubble.
  • 15 guests for weddings, civil partnerships and wakes; 30 for funerals. Wedding receptions not permitted.
  • Places of worship – open, but cannot interact with anyone outside household or support bub
  • Avoid travelling outside your area, other than where necessary such as for work or education. Further exemptions apply. Reduce the number of journeys where possible. Plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Avoid car sharing with those outside of your household or support bubble.

At the weekend the Prime Minister gave a statement on a new, more easily transmissible variant of coronavirus, tougher restrictions for parts of England with a new ‘Tier 4: Stay at Home Alert Level’ and changes to guidance for everyone for the Christmas period.

If you missed it, you can catch up with the full announcement on the government’s website.

Those in Tier 4 areas in England cannot meet other people indoors unless they live with them or they are part of their support bubble and they cannot form a Christmas bubble.

You can make a Christmas bubble with two other households if you live in Tier 1, 2 or 3 for one day only on Christmas Day (Friday 25 December), but it should not include anyone who lives in Tier 4.

The government has said you should consider carefully the risks of travelling at all and if you live in an area with a high prevalence of the virus you should avoid travelling to lower prevalence areas where possible.

It is vital that we each take personal responsibility this Christmas to limit the spread of the virus and protect our loved ones, particularly if they are vulnerable.

The safest way to celebrate Christmas this year is with your household or existing support bubble in your home. If you do form a Christmas bubble with people you don’t normally live with, try to keep it as small as possible because the more people you see, the more likely it is that you will catch or spread coronavirus.

One in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it, so you should think very carefully about the risks and only form a Christmas bubble if you feel you absolutely need to.

Wherever possible, discuss alternatives to meeting up in person, and if you do meet people you do not live with, it is important to do so outdoors where possible, or to make sure that any indoor venue has good ventilation (for example by opening windows so that fresh air can enter).

There are different rules on making a Christmas bubble if you live in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

There’s full updated guidance about Christmas bubbles on the government website.

You can also find out more about what you can and can’t do in each local restriction tier on the government’s website.