Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has urged the public to follow public health advice as rules for Christmas gatherings change.
This weekend saw the Prime Minister announce tightened restrictions on family gatherings during Christmas in light of rising concern over a new and more transmissible strain of coronavirus. A planned five day relaxation of the rules over Christmas to allow household bubbles to meet has now been trimmed back to just Christmas Day itself.
Reacting to the announcement, Mr Seccombe said: “This is obviously very disappointing news and means that many families will have to change their plans. This is not a decision that the Government has taken lightly and reflects the significant concern among health officials about rising rates of cases and a new strain of COVID-19.
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people in Warwickshire have largely heeded the advice that has come from public health officials and if we are to see the end of restrictions on our daily lives, this co-operation must continue. While I know it is natural for people to want to come together at this time of year, now is not the time to relax our attitude to combating the disease.
“It’s important to remember that coronavirus rates in Warwickshire continue to rise, which means we must remain on very high alert. I would urge everyone to consider carefully their plans for Christmas and the coming days, take account of the changing guidance and not to make the situation worse. A smaller Christmas will be a safer Christmas.
“This is a public health crisis first and foremost and the police want to work with the public in order to keep the whole community safe. This is always a busy period for our emergency services and others on the front line of keeping us safe over the winter months. We need to do all we can now to show our support and help them out as they work hard to keep us all safe.
“We can and will get through this difficult period if we all work together to reduce the rates of transmission, with the prospect of a better year to come in 2021.”
More information about the rules for Christmas are available on the Gov.uk website.