07 Dec December COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 Update 18/12/2020
As we wind down ready for the festive period this will be my final COVID update of the year. Christmas is certainly set to be different and we end this year and enter the new one with hope in the form of various vaccines being available, but with notes of caution that this is still far from over.
The Prime Minister has announced that whilst the law remains the same allowing only 3 households (England) to form a bubble over Christmas, Government has updated its guidance to reflect the increase in the number of cases. The message is very much just because you can, does not mean you should. The Prime Minister has signalled that individuals need to act responsibly and gauge the risk to themselves and, perhaps most importantly, to others.
As I’ve said previously, this will be a matter of acting reasonably and responsibly knowing the circumstances we find ourselves in.
COVID-19 new strain
Government has announced that as part of its proactive monitoring process it has identified a new strain of COVID-19, specifically in the South of England. Government’s scientists have yet to determine what affect, if any, this has in real terms and we will likely know more in the New Year.
This goes to reinforce the message we’ve been hearing so much of this year of: Hands. Face. Space.
Health Secretary Statement
The Health Secretary announced on Monday (14/12/2020) that as of Wednesday morning (16/12/2020) more areas of the south of England would be moving into Tier 3. Yesterday (17/12/2020) it has been confirmed that Bracknell Forest has now been placed in Tier 3 (Very High Alert). These restrictions will come into effect on Saturday 19th December 2020.
And to round off, depending on how the vaccine rollout progresses, I’m currently looking forward to being able to stop bi-weekly COVID updates in mid-March 2021, almost exactly a year since I started sending them out. I’m sure many of you will be pleased not to have to receive these emails!
In the meantime, I wish all of you a responsible and merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
James Sumner FdA
COVID-19 Update 04/12/2020
Well, with announcements coming thick and fast, in the last two weeks it’s been difficult to keep up at times so I will keep this a brief as possible.
Prime Minister’s Statement 23/11/2020
The Prime Minister gave his statement to the nation following the confirmation that the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine has proved highly effective in clinical trials. Along with announcing Government’s Winter plan, details of which can be found here, the Prime Minister confirmed that England would be returning to a Tiered system and was working with the devolved administrations to form and agree a joint approach over the Christmas period.
Prime Minister’s Statement 26/11/2020
In his announcement the Prime minister confirmed that much of England would be in the top two Tiers of restrictions (Tiers 2 & 3) once lockdown was lifted on the 02/12/2020. With the details being published soon after the announcement, Bracknell Forest is currently in Tier 2 and the Rules for Tier 2 can be found here.
Government has confirmed a UK wide approach that between 23rd and 27th December, households can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’, details of the guidance can be found here. Although we can form a bubble over Christmas, we all still need to act sensibly and responsibly in being able to do so.
PM statement 02/12/2020
The Prime Minister in his announcement has confirmed that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been accepted and approved for use by the UK’s medicine regulator, and that vaccinations for those in Phase 1 of governments vaccination plan (care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable) would be starting imminently.
Staying Mentally Well
Even with all the good news coming out at the moment, Government recognise that Winter this year will be challenging for some and it has published its Staying Mentally Well plan here. An easy reading version setting out the help available is also available here.
To appropriate part of a famous speech “This is the end of the beginning” 2020 is soon to be left behind us and likely not to be forgotten any time soon. By all accounts life may be approaching something like normality by late spring 2021, but this is not a reason to throw caution to the wind now. COVID-19 is still around and we need to continue to stay alert and exercise caution in our day-to-day life, and importantly we have reason to be hopeful next year.
James Sumner FdA
Business Operations Coordinator
Warfield Park Homes Ltd