The continuing COVID-19 pandemic means this festive season will be very different to those of previous years.
Council Leader, Cllr Dan Thomas
Being placed in Tier 4 restrictions means for those of us who planned celebrations that we will now be making huge personal sacrifices to protect our loved ones, the vulnerable and the wider community. It is difficult to change the festive habits of a lifetime but we cannot risk the dire consequences of the ‘R’ rate increasing.
As part of Tier 4 restrictions we’re now unable to form Christmas bubbles. If you celebrate Christmas or New Year’s Eve, then follow the guidance to stop the spread of infection and prevent unnecessary deaths. This means: stay at home, avoid unnecessary travel, and don’t mix indoors with anyone you don’t live with or who is outside of your support bubble.
The more people you see in person, the more likely it is that you could catch or spread this dangerous virus. This year we must rely on technology to connect and celebrate safely.
This is a stressful and difficult time for all of us in many different ways, whether struggling with lack of social contacts, money problems or mental and physical ill health. We have plenty of support in place to help, you can find what you need via the council website.
The Kooth online counselling service for 11-25-year olds will be available during the Christmas break. Find out more online.
The Barnet Wellbeing Service offers mental health support, such as counselling, for adults over the age of 18. Find out more here.
There is more welcome news on the horizon - the safe and effective vaccine is being rolled out now by the NHS. The Royal Free has been vaccinating many of our care home staff over the past week and local GP hubs have started delivering the vaccine to people over 80.
It will, however, take some time to vaccinate a large proportion of residents. In the meantime, we must stick to the rules, not make unnecessary journeys, stay at home if unwell, and get tested to reduce the risk of the infection spreading.
Have a happy and peaceful festive season, and please stay safe.
Cllr Dan Thomas