December 15, 2020 1.57 pm This story is over 41 months old

“Knuckle down” before Christmas to make festive period safe

Careful with elderly relatives

People hoping to spend time with their extended family over the Christmas period are being told to “knuckle down” in the festive run-up.

Lincolnshire County Council’s assistant director of public health Tony McGinty said the effort should be around getting infection rates down as low as possible over the five day break from tier restrictions.

Currently Lincolnshire’s infection rate is 243.2 per 100,000 people, against a national average of 181. The county is under the toughest tier 3 restrictions after its numbers spiked during the second lockdown.

From December 23, people will be able to form “bubbles” of three households over a five-day period (23-27 December), in a bid to allow families to spend the festive period together.

In national news on Tuesday two leading medical journals have called on government to reverse the decision, and Number 10 said the plans are under constant review.

Mr McGinty said people should “think proportionately” about the number of people in those groups and be “as sensible as they can whilst enjoying a bit of relaxation time”.

He understood people might potentially decide to ignore the rules in what is generally a time for families to get together, adding: “It’s been a long old haul hasn’t it this year? Loads of restrictions and some people won’t have seen some of those they’ll be seeing over Christmas for a long time.”

However, he called on people to stick to the rules and think about the most vulnerable members of the family.

“You need to do what you can to have a bit of relaxation and enjoy Christmas, but not throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

“If I was having a group of households over for Christmas or going to them — especially if there were going to be vulnerable members of my family such as grandma, etc — then I would I would certainly be following the rules for safety pretty carefully,” he said.

“[This would] will reduce the chance that I’m going to be the one that has COVID, doesn’t know, it takes it into that family party.”

“So get on with your shopping but keep hands, face, space going to reduce as much as possible that if anybody takes COVID-19 into those family parties that its not you.”