Updated 02/12/20

Christmas guidance – care home visits

From 2 December to 23 December, you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area.

From 23 December to 27 December, you may choose to form a Christmas bubble. Where you will be able to spend time together in private homes, to attend places of worship, or meet in a public outdoor place. In all other settings, people should follow local restrictions in the tier in which they are staying.

If you do not form a Christmas bubble, you may still meet with your support bubble or childcare bubble.

From 28 December, you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area. Christmas bubbles will no longer apply.

Visiting relatives in care homes

You will be able to continue visiting relatives in care homes in all tiers. Visits should be held with social distance and PPE in place, outside or in other COVID-secure visiting areas. Where testing is available, residents will be able to have visits from up to two visitors each week in all tiers by Christmas. If a visitor has a negative test, is wearing appropriate PPE, and following other infection control measures, then it may be possible for visitors to have physical contact with their loved one, such as providing personal care and holding hands.


Government launches new portal for care homes to arrange coronavirus testing

All care home staff and residents are now eligible for testing with priority for those in homes that look after the over-65s.


Helping vulnerable people

A substantial network of NHS volunteers have been recruited to support the COVID-19 response in the BLMK area. If you or a dependent are considered to be a ‘vulnerable person’ (due to age or health condition) and have received a targeted letter from the NHS, here is a helpful link to register for help with accessing food or medication:



‘Shielding’ is for people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. We are strongly advising people with serious underlying health conditions (listed below), which put them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19), to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe.