The Welsh Government has issued Christmas guidance for people who were shielding.

Bridgend County Borough residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable can choose to be part of a Christmas bubble on Christmas Day but are warned that it involves greater risks, especially as cases are rising in the area.

Christmas bubbles can be made up of people from up to two households, including your own. It is important people who were shielding consider the risks carefully before agreeing to form a bubble. You will minimise your risk of infection if you limit social contact with people you do not live with.

If you decide to form a Christmas bubble, the advice is:

  • Maintain social distance from those you don’t normally live with at all times, avoiding physical contact
  • Everyone should wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their face
  • Keep the space well-ventilated
  • Increase cleaning of surfaces and handles indoors and avoid using shared items e.g. serving spoons
  • Where separate toilet facilities are not possible, provide cleaning materials to allow handles and touch points to be cleaned after each use and do not share hand towels
  • Think about who you sit next to, including during meals
  • Consider wearing a face covering indoors where social distancing may be difficult
  • Avoid sharing a car with another person outside your household

 If you don’t feel comfortable spending time with people indoors, think of other ways you can safely spend time together, for example on walks outdoors or supported by technology.

Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Cllr Nicole Burnett said: “There may be a lot of expectations and pressure around celebrating Christmas together, but you should feel comfortable to do what is right for you over this period.

“To do that, the other people in your Christmas bubble should understand your needs and increased risk. They must also be extra vigilant in the days before you get together, reducing any unnecessary contact with people, especially as some with the virus have no symptoms.”

While Civic Offices remain closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic, residents can contact the Customer Services teams on 01656 643643 or via during office hours over Christmas.

If you’re self-isolating and need support for things such as shopping, prescription collections, loneliness and emergency social services, call Customer Services on 01656 643643. If you contact the council outside of opening times, you will be put through to the Customer and Community Support Unit, which will be available 24/7 over Christmas and New Year.

A number of services are accessible online, such as My Account for council tax and housing benefit, as well as lots of useful information regarding reporting issues, such as highways, transportation, recycling and waste, environmental health and more.

The Cwm Taf Morgannwg helpline for people who have been told to self-isolate by NHS Wales’ Test, Trace and Protect team will be available during normal office hours over Christmas, but is closed on bank holidays. A contact number will be given out to anyone who is contact traced or tests positive for Covid-19.