Christmas 2020

The government issued new guidance on December 19. Christmas bubbles are now allowed on Christmas Day only. The five-day Christmas bubble period has been cancelled.  

COVID-19 hasn’t gone away for Christmas, but Father Christmas is still coming and you can watch him thanks to the help of Oakfield Primary School, Ryde. 

Watch the Director of Public Health for the Island Simon Bryant and local GP and Chair of the CCG Michele Legg discuss what we need to do to stay safe this Christmas on this Facebook Live

Government guidance is for everyone in all tiers to stay local over the Christmas period. This is unless it is for education, care responsibilities, medical appointments or caring responsibilities.

Whether meeting in a bubble on Christmas Day, or meeting in a group of up to 6 people (the Rule of 6) we must not let down our guard and throw away all the hard work our Island community has been doing to keep cases low.

Christmas bubbles

On Christmas Day only you can choose up to 2 other households to form a Christmas bubble with. This bubble is then “locked in” or “exclusive”.

  • There is no limit to the number of people in a Christmas bubble, as long as it is only your family household and two other family households.
  • In the time before you form your bubble, everyone should try to cut back their contact with other people as much as possible. 
  • If you are in a bubble, you should not go off and meet other friends and families and then come back to your support bubble.  
  • You should stick together as one household for the duration of the bubble. 
  • You cannot go out to a pub, cafe or restaurant in your bubble, you can only go to each other’s houses. 
  • Young people coming back from university count as a member of their main household and don’t need to be their own household in the bubble. 
  • Children who spend time between separated parents who are in different support bubbles may be part of both bubbles. They are the only people allowed to swap bubbles. 

While you are in your household bubbles please try to:

  • keep the rooms ventilated
  • clean shared touch points or frequently used spaces often
  • wash your hands regularly

If you have chosen to form a different Christmas bubble from other people in your household – the people you live with normally – you should take additional steps to prevent the opportunity for the virus to spread within your household, and between bubbles. 

This might include taking extra precautions such as cleaning surfaces and contact points like door handles. Letting in as much fresh air as possible after someone has visited your household 

Getting COVID symptoms when you're in a Christmas bubble

If you start to feel unwell with COVID-19 symptoms and you are in a Christmas bubble you should isolate yourself in the house from the rest of the bubble and book a test. The Isle of Wight test centre is open every day except Christmas Day and Sundays. Book a COVID-19 test online or by calling 119.

The rest of the bubble will need to self-isolate and not leave the house until the test results are back.

If someone has tested positive the rest of the bubble will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the start of that person’s symptoms. If the person’s test result is negative, everyone can return to the Christmas bubble or tier rules.

Coronavirus can spread easily through family members. Please remember hands-face-space-ventilate-clean.

Christmas guidance and the rule of 6

If you’re heading out Christmas shopping for for a drink or a meal, please do so safely

In Tier 1 you can meet up with work colleagues in a café, pub, restaurant but there should be no more than 6 of you at one time. You should try not to meet people who are forming a Christmas bubble with other people.

You shouldn’t book several tables of 6 in the same place near each other. It seems like a good way to get around the rules, but the likelihood is that you might swap seats to socialise and harm people’s health. 

If you decide not to form a Christmas bubble on Christmas Day, you can still meet using the rule of 6.

If you’re meeting at home indoors as part of the rule of 6, please keep a social distance, wipe surfaces and ventilate rooms.

New Year's Eve

There is no relaxation of the rules on New Year’s Eve. This year New Year’s Eve will be very different. Please celebrate at home to help keep the Island safe.

Please do everything you can to keep the Island safe this festive period.


IOW Coronavirus helpline 01983 823600

Christmas opening times for the Isle of Wight Coronavirus helpline

Friday 1 January New Year’s Day – Closed
Saturday 2 January – 10am to 3pm
Sunday 3 January – 10am to 3pm

If you call when the helpline is closed, the WightCare out of hours service will advise you how to get the support you need.

Community support hubs

Isle of Wight Community support is available over the festive season including bank holidays.

Isle of Wight Community Action list all the local support available this festive season

In a crisis

  • Call 111
    This number is for patients to get the right advice or treatment they need, be that for their physical or mental health.
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Mountbatten Keep Connected Helpline – 24 hours on 25, 26, 28 December 2020 and 1 January 2021
    Call 01983 217297
  • Samaritans
    Call 116 123 (24/7 FREE from any phone)
  • Wightcare (24 hours a day)
    Call 01983 821105
Getting tested

The Isle of Wight COVID-19 testing centre is open every day except Christmas Day and Sundays. 

Book a COVID-19 test.

Read information about preventing the spread of COVID-19.

National restrictions
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