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Updated festive guidance for the people we support and families.

22 Dec 2020

Following the First Minister’s announcement on Saturday 19th December, significant changes have been made to Scottish Government guidance over the festive period.  I would urge you to familiarise yourself, and to comply with this new guidance at all times, to keep yourself, your family and your Cornerstone support team safe.  

The following links will be helpful:

https://www.gov.scot/news/new-guidance-issued-for-the-festive-period 
https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-festive-period/ 

The main changes are that;

  • the planned easing of restrictions around Christmas is now limited to Christmas Day itself, and not the previous 5 day window that was planned. (Please note additional local guidance for Care Homes has been issued by Public Health. Please contact your local support team for further advice if required).  
  • legal household limits for Christmas day will still apply - a maximum of 8 people from 3 households - however advice is to minimise the numbers. Where possible, people should celebrate the festive period at home in their own household and meet with others outdoors.
  • travel within Scotland will be allowed on Christmas Day. You can only travel within Scotland to meet those in your Christmas bubble and you must travel and return home on 25 December.
  • from Boxing Day, all of Scotland will have Level 4 restrictions applied, including the closure of non-essential retail and hospitality. The only exceptions will be Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, and the other island communities where restrictions have been reduced in recent weeks, who will be placed in Level 3.
  • from Boxing Day, in line with existing law, travel across local authority boundaries between areas in Level 3 or 4 will not be legal other than for specific exempt purpose.

These changes will impact on us all and we understand what a difficult and worrying time this is for everyone, especially at Christmas time. However, it is essential that we do all that we can to try and keep everyone safe by following the latest government guidance and tailoring our plans accordingly.  

Cornerstone services across the country are working hard to ensure the changing needs of the people we support are identified and accommodated over the festive period, and that they are kept as safe as possible.  It is likely that further advice and guidance will be issued and updated by the government over coming weeks.  We will do all that we can to interpret and communicate those changes to the people we support and families as quickly as possible, as relevant and appropriate. However please do also take personal responsibility for keeping up to date by checking https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ regularly.  Please also refresh your understanding of Tier 4 rules by reading this guidance.  

As we approach the end of 2020, it does seem thankfully, that there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel.  With the roll out of the vaccine commencing, I’m reassured to know that the people we support and our staff are being treated as a priority, as rightly they should. We will be encouraging all our staff team to take the vaccine. 

Until then and as the festive season approaches, I would urge you to continue to liaise closely and in collaboration with your local Cornerstone team. By adhering to local guidance and keeping physical distancing and protections in place, together we will do all that we can to keep loved ones safe and well this Christmas. 

Thank you for your understanding, patience and forbearance during what has undoubtedly been the most difficult of times. Wishing you and yours a happy and safe festive season.

Sara Murphy
Director of Delivery, On behalf of the Senior Leadership Team