The new and more infectious mutation of the Coronavirus, which is now spreading alarmingly across Britain, has caused dozens of countries to suspend travel from the UK as well as halting freight across The English Channel – leading to worries about food shortages.
It’s also confounded festive plans for many in our village and beyond. Not only must our many hospitality businesses remain closed throughout (except for takeaways or delivery) but any long distance family get-togethers in our homes have had to be cancelled, too.
For now, Ruddington remains in Tier 3 – which is no longer the most stringent level of restrictions in England since a Tier 4 ‘lockdown’ level was imposed in London and parts of the South East at the weekend. However, the worrying new variant of COVID-19 does mean the planned government ‘easing’ of rules for five days over the festive holidays has been reduced to just one day – on Christmas Day itself.
‘Christmas Bubbles’ can now be formed ONLY on Friday December 25th – so any thoughts of having guests over for the night, or heading off to stay elsewhere, should now be abandoned to keep within the law. Tier 3 rules apply to all of Nottinghamshire, and most of the East Midlands, with these ‘very high alert’ restrictions remaining in place until at least Wednesday 30th December – when the next ‘Tier review’ will take place. The worry is that Ruddington might then go up, rather than down.
Leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council, Cllr Simon Robinson says: “We know it’s hugely disappointing for everyone that Christmas plans have now changed but we must continue to show the strength and resilience we have this year to beat this virus. It’s vital we follow these restrictions and as tough as it is, it will ultimately save lives and protect health and care services.”
He adds: “Please continue to stay safe and remember ‘hands face space’, don’t travel outside of Nottinghamshire wherever possible and follow the rules so we can all look forward to a brighter 2021.”
Jonathan Gribbin, Director of Public Health for Nottinghamshire confirms: “Sadly, the new restrictions also mean that you should stay local even if you do form a bubble for Christmas Day. That means avoiding any unnecessary travel outside of Nottinghamshire. It is a concern to hear that the new variant of COVID-19 is passed on more easily. But it is important to remember that we already know exactly how to stop its spread. It still comes down to frequent hand washing, use of face coverings in enclosed spaces, and complying with social distancing measures such as maintaining a 2-metre distance from others.”
He emphasises: “What is important now is that we follow these rules with even greater attention and rigour than before. That is what is needed because when we do it, that is what breaks the chain of transmission. The announcement on Saturday 19th December illustrates that further effort is required from everyone to keep Nottinghamshire safe. Unfortunately, it means that many of us now need to come to terms with the prospect of a different Christmas to the one we had planned.”
Apart from on Friday 25th December, Tier 3 restrictions mean we must continue to avoid mixing indoors with any other households – whilst the rule of six applies in public outdoor settings.
The Government’s latest UK-wide ‘Tiers’ information can be found >>HERE<<.
“Keep it safe and local!” The new, lottery-funded, festive display outside St Peter’s Rooms
The new Tier 4 restrictions announced by government in other parts of the country also mean people who live in those areas are not allowed to mix with any other households at all. People in Tier 4 areas cannot form a Christmas Bubble. Only essential travel to Tier 4 areas – such as for work purposes is allowed.
The main rules about ‘Christmas Bubbles’:
- They can only be formed on Friday 25th December
- you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ of people from no more than three households
- you can only be in one Christmas bubble
- you cannot change your Christmas bubble
- you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
- if you form a Christmas bubble, you should not meet socially with friends and family that you do not live with in your home or garden unless they are part of your Christmas bubble
- you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to Tier 3 rules the rules in the tier you are meeting in
- people in Tier 4 areas are not allowed to form bubbles with any other households so cannot visit and become part of a Christmas Bubble with anyone here in Ruddington
Full guidance on making a ‘Christmas bubble’ with friends and family is >>HERE<<.
Jonathan Gribbin continues: “I urge people in Nottinghamshire people to take care to stick to the rules because this is what will curb transmission, save lives, and protect local services. The best tools for achieving this are in our hands already. We must avoid mixing with other people indoors, maintain focus on the hands, face and space principles, and get a test, and isolate immediately if we develop any COVID-19 symptoms. It really is that simple” he says…
“The best gift we can give one another is to play our part to stop the spread.”
Find details of Ruddington Christmas events >>HERE<<.
See how Nottingham City Transport’s Navy 3 and Green 10 buses are running over the festive period >>HERE<<.