The UK government has now published the official guidance for residents ahead of the Christmas period.
This includes the confirmation of which festive events and traditions are permitted.
It comes after it was confirmed last week that people in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be allowed to meet over Christmas, forming ‘Christmas bubbles’ with up to three households during a five-day period, and permitting travel between tiers and borders from 23rd – 27th December.
In the extensive guidance document published yesterday to the gov.uk website, the government advises that Santa’s grottos will be allowed in all tiers if they are in venues that can open, but necessary social distancing must be in place, and performances by school pupils, such as nativity plays and other seasonal events, can also take place within existing school bubbles, but should avoid mixing across groups.
Carol singing or carol services can take place if all attendees follow advice in the suggested principles of safer singing and guidance for the Performing Arts developed by an expert group coordinated by Public Health England.
This applies to both professional and amateur choirs.
Those performing or rehearsing in a professional capacity, or as part of a supervised activity for under 18s, are not limited in number and do not have to adhere to gathering limits but should still follow the performing arts guidance.
Guidance on a number of other events differs depending on tiers.
It has been confirmed that Greater Manchester will enter into Tier 3 from 0.01am on Wednesday 2nd December and more information regarding restrictions can be found here.
People in all tiers will also be able to attend places of worship, but the rules on who you can meet there will depend on your tier, and it is crucial to note that from 2nd December, the rules on who you can meet with in bars, pubs and restaurants will depend on your tier, and between 23rd and 27th December, the rules on who you can meet in those settings will not change.
The same applies to who you can meet with in shops – with the rules still not set to change between 23rd and 27th December – however, the rules may be different for indoor shops and open air shops, such as Christmas markets or Christmas tree markets.
This is again dependent on the three tiered system.
Further guidance for was also provided on attending light switch-on ceremonies, celebrating New Years eve, going to work and education settings, childcare, visiting relatives in care homes, and travel in the UK and abroad, among other areas.
The Christmas guidance states that rules will be back in place by New Year’s Eve, with the government reinforcing that Christmas bubbles will no longer apply.
You can read the Guidance for the Christmas Period in full here.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.
BBC is looking for Mancs to take part in next series of Race Across the World
Are you a fan of travelling? Got yourself a bit of a competitive streak in your nature? This might just be your calling then.
The BBC is currently casting for the next series of Race Across the World.
The broadcaster has announced that the BAFTA-winning hit show is set to return to our TV screens for a third series later this year, and producers are now on the look-out for “intrepid duos” of all ages who reckon they’re ready to take a step into the unknown, and embark on an epic race across land and sea – and that includes Greater Manchester residents.
With applications for the next series of the massively-popular show now open, nomadic Mancs are being encouraged to take part.
On a limited budget and away from the luxuries of modern technology and conveniences, those lucky applicants selected to take part in the next series will get the chance to experience life in some of the world’s most beautiful and remote locations.
Navigating their way across thousands of miles, they’ll travel through spectacular scenery and dynamic cities, visit ancient wonders, learn local customs, and take part in time-honoured traditions.
But, as producers are keen to point out, “the physical journey is only half of the story”.
That’s because, as the contestants take on the challenge of travelling across the world, the greatest thing they’ll discover along the way could actually be about themselves and one another.
Putting out a UK-wide casting call on the BBC website this week, producers Studio Lambert wrote: “We are now accepting applications for the next series of Race Across the World. This experience is open to all, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or total novice.
“We want to hear what undertaking a trip like this would mean to you, and with a cash prize at stake, what lengths you would go to to win.
Applications for the massively-popular show are now open / Credit: BBC
“Maybe you’re looking to change something in your life? Or are keen to share the journey with someone special like a family member, best friend, or someone you’ve lost touch with. You may even have a very personal reason for wanting to travel at this time in your life or explore a particular part of the world.”
Fancy it then?
Applications for the third series of Race Across the World are now open for anyone over 18 years of age, with a deadline date of Friday 19 April 2024, and you can find out more information and apply via the BBC website.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents
A Greater Manchester care home is calling on locals to take their dogs down to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to help cheer up the residents.
After recent studies have shown that introducing dogs into care home settings can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction among the community, Abney Court Care Home in the Stockport town of Cheadle – which sits within the picturesque grounds of Abney Hall Park – has decided to host its very-own ‘Canine Café’ next week.
But in a bid to make sure there’s enough canine cuddles for all the residents, staff at the home are asking the public to bring their own four-legged friends down to the party.
Abney Court created the canine-themed event after being inspired by the positive impact previous animal visits have had on residents’ wellbeing in the past, and after hearing how much they missed the company of their own pets from their younger years.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents / Credit: Care UK (via Facebook)
Taking place next Friday 8 March from 11am-12pm, Abney Court’s ‘Canine Café’ gives attendees the chance to enjoy loads of tasty puppy-themed treats and drinks, all while being in the company of furry friends.
Of course, all four-legged guests will be taken good care of too.
Not only will the pups be able to enjoy plenty of fuss from the home’s residents, but they’ll also get the opportunity to play with the other pooches, and be treated to their very-own ‘pup cake’ too.
There’ll also be lots of garden games and a raffle too, so everyone has a shot a winning a whole host of goodies to take home.
Inviting the Greater Manchester public down to the party next week, Amcia Hara, who is the Home Manager at Abney Court, said: “We are looking forward to inviting the local community to our Canine Café, as atudies have shown that introducing dogs into care homes can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction.
“The human-animal bond is powerful in promoting self-esteem and wellbeing, which is exactly why we feel our Canine Café is set to be a brilliant event.
“Whether you have your own dog or simply an animal lover, we’d encourage you to come along to our event.”