Harwich Town Council

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Christmas Bubble Easy Read

 COVID-19 Guidance:

Making a Christmas bubble with friends and family


The Government is changing the rules for meeting up with other people over the Christmas period.

This information explains the new rules that will apply from Wednesday, 23 December to Sunday, 27 December 2020.

The rules help to keep you safe from COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a new illness that is spreading around the world. It can affect your lungs and breathing.

The new rules

The new rules allow you to meet up inside, with up to 3 other households to make a ‘Christmas bubble’.

A household means people that live together in the same house.

You can only do this between

Wednesday, 23 December and Sunday, 27 December 2020.

You can only be in 1 Christmas bubble.

You cannot change your Christmas bubble.

You can travel to different parts of the UK to meet your Christmas bubble.

You can only meet your Christmas bubble in:

  • someone’s home
  • a garden
  • a place of worship

A place of worship is a church, temple, synagogue, or mosque.

  • a public outdoor space.

You can carry on meeting people who are not in your Christmas bubble, outdoors. You must follow the rules about this where you live.


The Government has put the different areas of England into 1 of 3 tiers. A tier is a level.

There are different rules for the 3 tiers.


If you travel to meet people in your Christmas bubble, you should go and come back between Wednesday, 23 and Sunday, 27 December.

Staying safe

A Christmas bubble is not completely safe.

The more people you see, the more likely you are to catch or spread COVID-19.

You can spread COVID-19 even if you don’t feel ill.

It is still safer to meet people online or outdoors.

You should: • wash your hands regularly and for

20 seconds

  • keep yourself inside and away from other people if you catch COVID-19
  • get a free NHS test if you feel ill or if you have been asked to get a test
  • clean door handles, surfaces and the things that people touch regularly
  • let in as much fresh air as you can, without getting cold, by opening windows and doors.

If you are already in a bubble

There are 2 other types of bubble as well as the Christmas bubble.

A support bubble

A support bubble is where a person who lives on their own joins up with another household. They can meet inside together.

A support bubble counts as 1 household in a Christmas bubble.

A childcare bubble household joins with 1 other A childcare bubble is where your

household to look after a child or children aged 13 or under.

You can look after the children in either, or both of the 2 homes.

The 2 households in a childcare bubble, count as 2 households in a Christmas bubble.

That means a childcare bubble can meet with 1 other household to make a Christmas bubble.

Meeting with your Christmas bubble

Before starting your

Christmas bubble

In the 2 weeks before you start your Christmas bubble, you should have less contact with other people.

Children should carry on going to school.

You should work from home if you can.

Meeting your Christmas bubble indoors

You can meet people in your Christmas bubble:

  • in each other’s homes
  • in a rented house or flat in a place of worship.

You can stay overnight.

You cannot meet your Christmas bubble indoors in a:

hotel shop


theatre restaurant.

There are different rules about meeting up in public places in each of the 3 tiers.

Children with separated parents

Children under 18 years old can be in a different Christmas bubble with both of their parents, if they are separated.

Nobody else should be in 2 Christmas bubbles.

Meeting your Christmas bubble outdoors

You can be with your Christmas bubble in your garden or an outdoor public place.

Outdoor public places include:

  • parks and beaches
  • parts of the countryside that are open to people
  • public gardens
  • allotments playgrounds.

Meeting people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside

There are different rules for meeting people outdoors in each of the 3 tiers.

Christmas bubbles that do not include people in your usual household

You can choose to be in a Christmas bubble with people outside your household.

But you must stay with the Christmas bubble away from your household, and not mix with your household.

Self isolation

Self-isolation is where you keep stay indoors and away from other people. Even people in your own household.

You must self-isolate if you:

• think you have COVID-19

  • have been told to do so.

You must not be in a Christmas bubble  if you are self-isolating.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable

Clinically extremely vulnerable means you have a health condition which would make you seriously ill if you caught COVID-19.

Your doctor will tell you if you are clinically extremely vulnerable.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you can still be in a Christmas bubble if you want.

But you should be extra careful.

The Government has some guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable at Christmas.

If you live in a care home

People who live in care homes are likely to be seriously ill if they catch COVID-19.

Going out to visit your family at Christmas

If you live in a care home and plan to go and visit your family, you might catch COVID-19 and spread it to other people in the care home.

It might be best if your family came and visited you instead.

Only younger people should think about going out of their care home at Christmas.

The care home will want to check how you can stay safe.

If you do go out at Christmas

You should:

  • keep 2 metres away from people
  • wash your hands regularly
  • open windows and doors to let plenty of fresh air in
  • think about wearing a face covering.

Going back to the care home

You will need to have a test before you go back to the care home.

You may have to self-isolate for 2 weeks when you go back to the care home.

If you want someone who lives in a care home to come to your home at Christmas

If someone who lives in a care home is coming to your home at Christmas, all the people in your bubble should:

  • reduce the number of people they meet in the 2 weeks before Christmas
  • talk to the care home about getting tested.

Travel and overnight stays with your Christmas bubble

If you are travelling to meet your Christmas bubble, you should:

  • not go on the busiest routes or at the busiest times
  • keep your distance from other people
  • wash your hands or use hand sanitiser regularly
  • wear a face covering if you are on public transport.

You can stay in a hotel at Christmas but only by yourself, or with other members of your household.

You can stay in private rented accommodation with members of your household, or your Christmas bubble.

After meeting your Christmas bubble

You should reduce the number of people you meet during the 2 weeks after you have been with your Christmas bubble.

Children can go to school.

You can go to work if you cannot work from home.

For more information

If you need more information please go to: