2020 has been a strange year for us all. As the festive season approaches we are now prepared to accept that even Christmas is going to have to change this year.
Long held traditions and customs are having a shake up and any plans or certainty are up in the air.
To help us to redesign our plans for Christmas the Welsh government have, along with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland put some special rules in place.
From 23rd to 27th December we can create a Christmas Bubble which will allow us to be with our loved ones, extended family, elderly relatives or friends.
• you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of no more than three households
• you can only be in one Christmas bubble
• you cannot change your Christmas bubble
• you can travel anywhere within the UK for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
• You must not form a Christmas bubble if you are self isolating.
Why are Christmas Bubbles necessary?
The restrictions are in place to keep us safe, protect the NHS, minimise the amount of contact we have with others but also allow us a small amount of freedom to socialise beyond our households.
Bubbles make sure that those living alone won’t need to spend Christmas alone.
They ensure that couples that have had to stay apart through lockdown can be together for Christmas.
Agreeing on your Christmas Bubble
The choices for creating a bubble will be difficult. To create a Christmas Bubble the first hurdle is to get everyone to agree to the people in that bubble and by the very nature that also includes those that you can’t invite into your bubble. Conversations with brothers and sisters as to who will invite Mum & Dad or Mum & Dad deciding which of their grown up children they can spend time with and that is just looking at a simple family unit. Families come in all shapes and sizes, with step-families and multi-generational families so no set of rules is going to work for everyone.
The best Christmas present
It is recommended by the Welsh Government that we keep our Christmas bubbles as small as possible. For the majority of people, after thinking through the implications of joining households for 5 days, choosing to just have a small Christmas at home with their own household will probably be the reality.
We all have a personal responsibility to limit the spread of the virus and protect our loved ones. Maybe just accepting that Christmas needs to be a spent at home this year and getting on with it rather than trying to get together with other households is the best Christmas present we can give to each other.
Christmas Travel plans
If you are planning to spend Christmas elsewhere in the UK, although the rules are very similar, you should read the Christmas guidance from England, Scotland or Northern Ireland.