Home Coronavirus: News and Advice How to support the most vulnerable to stay safe this winter
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How to support the most vulnerable to stay safe this winter

by Guy Murphy

Now that national lockdown restrictions have ended and we have returned to a regional tier system, it is important that we continue to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. Knowsley is in Level 2 (“High” alert) and with that comes a new range of restrictions to try and contain the virus within our communities.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people are at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, so its very important that they stay home and stay safe as much as possible.

Residents who are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group are strongly encouraged to adhere to the following guidance:

  • You must not meet with people indoors in any setting unless they are part of your household or support bubble. This includes private homes, and indoors in hospitality venues, such as pubs and restaurants.
  • You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. If you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. In England, this limit of 6 includes children and young people of any age.
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable people are advised to keep the number of different people you meet with consistently low. The fewer people you meet, the less likely you are to catch COVID-19.
  • You are encouraged to continue to go outside because of the benefits of exercise. If you do choose to meet other households outside of your support bubble, this must be outside, must be in groups of less than 6 people and we advise you to keep the numbers low.
  • Try to reduce the amount of time you spend in settings where you are unable to maintain social distancing, or where other people’s activities may reduce the likelihood of individuals maintaining social distancing.
  • Limit your visits to shops or pharmacies, if possible – encourage others to collect and deliver food and medication. If you are not able to have food or medicine collected or delivered, try to make any trips during quieter times of the day.
  • Minimise travel and avoid busy times and busy routes, where possible. If you need to travel, walk or cycle if you can. If this is not possible, travelling in a private car is generally lower risk than public transport. You should avoid car sharing with people outside of your household or support bubble.
  • You should continue to work from home where possible. If you cannot work from home, you can still attend your workplace as your workplace should be COVID-secure. You can find further advice about work and what to do if you have concerns here.

Christmas rules

For a short period over Christmas, the Government will be easing restrictions and allowing households to form a Christmas bubble with up to two other households, enabling loved ones to spend time together. These relaxed rules cover Christmas Day only.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you can still be part of a Christmas bubble but it does involve greater risks for you. It is important that you, and anyone in your bubble, understands this and takes steps to minimise these risks. Forming a Christmas bubble is a personnel choice and it is important you think carefully about it.

If you do form a Christmas bubble, make sure you:

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Keep rooms well ventilated and allow fresh in at regular intervals
  • Clean touch points (handles and surfaces) regularly
  • Consider who you sit next you
  • Consider wearing a face covering where possible

Support

If you know of someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable in your family or local community, we ask that you offer them support. This could include picking up shopping or medicine or providing a friendly voice for a chat over the phone.

If require further support, you can contact the COVID helpline on 0800 073 0043