Coronavirus Christmas Update from Sheffield City Council

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health for Sheffield, updates us on the latest Covid-19 guidance and what it means for us this Christmas…

As we look forward to the festive period, I want to thank Sheffielders for following the guidance and helping to bring our coronavirus figures down. We have one of the lowest rates in Yorkshire, which hasn’t happened by magic; it’s happened because most of us have followed the guidance.

However, we’re not out of the woods yet and, even though we are hearing good news about a vaccination, it is not in place yet. So this is a crucial time for us to keep following the rules.

Although our rates are coming down they do remain too high, so my message to everyone is to carry on doing the right thing to beat this virus; wash your hands, don’t touch your face with hands that aren’t clean and keep your distance – that two metres between you and another person makes all the difference.

As we know, this is a virus that kills 1% of the people who develop symptoms, and we have many people in the city who are at a higher risk than others from it. This is why we must continue to play our part to protect our friends, family, and community, as well as ourselves. The best way to protect our vulnerable loved ones is to keep spread as low as possible.

With regards to isolation, there is still some confusion around this. To reiterate, if you have symptoms, isolate immediately, book a free coronavirus test and stay home for 10 days. If you have been in contact with an infected person, stay home for 14 days.

From 2 December, Sheffield enters the tier 3 ‘Very High’ alert category. So, what does this mean? People must not meet with friends and family indoors in any setting, unless they are part of the same household or support bubble. This includes private homes and inside hospitality venues. They must also not meet with people outside of their household or support bubble in a private garden.

People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park, countryside or a public garden. Hospitality venues will be closed, with the exception of takeaways, click and collects, drive throughs and delivery services. Shops and retail outlets will be open, and I encourage people to support Sheffield’s economy by shopping locally.

Indoor venues will be closed including indoor play centres, soft play areas, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, cinemas, theatres, concert halls and many others. Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open but there will be no group exercise classes. Continue to work from home if possible, and only make essential journeys.

Of course, we have also had national guidance confirmed for the 5-day festive period. This means that between 23rd and 27th December, 3 households will be allowed to form a temporary “Christmas bubble”. People in a Christmas bubble are allowed to meet in each other’s homes and stay overnight. You can also meet them at a place of worship and in outdoor public spaces or gardens.

If someone tests positive or develops coronavirus symptoms up to 48 hours after the Christmas bubble last met, everyone will have to isolate.
I want to wish everyone in Sheffield a happy and safe festive break. Celebrate safely and continue to follow the latest guidance at

– Greg Fell, Director of Public Health for Sheffield

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