'Protect your loved ones, don't mix over Christmas': Northamptonshire public health boss' festive warning

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Despite the law saying three households can mix, the director of Public Health Northamptonshire is urging residents not to

A stark warning about not mixing households at Christmas has been issued by the Northamptonshire public health chief.

Although the law remains that three households can mix for five days over the festive period, earlier this week the Prime Minister issued stricter guidance about mixing with fewer people for a shorter period of time.

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Speaking at the weekly press briefing today (December 18), director of Public Health Northamptonshire, Lucy Wightman, echoed these views and even went further, urging residents of the county not to mix at all.

Director of Public Health Northamptonshire, Lucy Wightman, speaking at the press briefing (December 18).Director of Public Health Northamptonshire, Lucy Wightman, speaking at the press briefing (December 18).
Director of Public Health Northamptonshire, Lucy Wightman, speaking at the press briefing (December 18).

Ms Wightman said: "I think everybody knows in their heart of hearts that the right thing to do is to have a small Christmas and to not be mixing.

"The Government has got a very difficult job of balancing the economy and keeping people's mental health as buoyant as possible and I think there is a recognition that is to do with people being allowed to mix with each other and do things they would normally do, but I think people know in their hearts of hearts what is right.

"We know this is a virus that is passed simply from one person to another by contact and therefore every time you meet somebody else particularly indoors you put them at risk and what you could be giving them for Christmas is a virus that could potentially kill them.

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"So apply common sense, think about how you wish to be protected and how you can protect your loved ones and I would suggest that despite the fact that we can we really need to be thinking about whether we should.

"My guidance and my local advice would be not to be mixing over Christmas and to protect the ones we care about and hopefully protect the idea of being able to get back to normality sooner rather than later in 2021.

"If people follow their heart and their gut instinct on this, we could come out of Christmas and still find ourselves in tier two.

"Clearly if people make a decision to the contrary we will find ourselves probably headed into tier three, now whether that be Northampton or indeed wider areas just depends on people's behaviours.

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"People have done the right thing before and I know they can do the right thing again."

The health boss was says she will be keeping her distance from loves ones during the festive season and is urging residents to do the same.

Ms Wightman added: "This year has been one of the toughest I can remember and the thing that has affected me the most is hearing people’s stories of the sacrifices they have made and indeed the human sacrifice because of this dreadful virus.

"The best gift I can give anybody I love this Christmas is their health and that means that I will keep my distance - I urge you all to do the same.

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To find out what else happened at the weekly Covid-19 press briefing, visit the live blog here.

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