What you can do this Christmas

With announcements and changes happening left, right and centre, many are starting to feel a little bit of déjà vu. But not to worry, we've put together some information of what you can get up to this holiday season.

The Holidays are fast approaching - some people are looking forward to spending Christmas with family or friends, others might be spending Christmas alone, or not celebrating Christmas at all. Some might be staying in Portsmouth and others might have to travel to get home. Everyone's holiday season is unique, and it is still a special time of year, however it may look. What some people might be looking forward to most is saying goodbye to a really tough year. We've been in and out of lockdown, awaiting 'freedom day', watched it been delayed, wearing masks, washing hands, getting vaccinated, vaccinated again and many of us are now waiting to be boosted. 

It can be confusing and a little bit scary hearing about new variants, and soaring numbers and all you really want to know is 'What will Christmas look like this year?' 'What am I allowed to do?' and 'What will happen in the New Year?'

Some of those questions we can answer, some we will update you as soon as we know the answers, but let us put your mind at ease and let you know what you can get up to over the holidays. 

**Information correct as of 16/12/21**

Getting Vaccinated

The best thing that you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get double vaccinated and your booster jab as soon as you are able to. This can help reduce the spread of the Omicron variant and reduce the risks that come with catching Covid.

From Wednesday 15th December 2021, all those eligible for a booster vaccine can book online via the NHS website. Walk-in clinics will be opening up from Monday 20th December 2021 for those who have not been able to get a booking. 

The University, Laly's Pharmacy on Guildhall Walk and the University Surgery, have worked together to offer a limited number of Covid vaccination appointments to student and staff. You can find out more here

What are the rules?

The rules are currently:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Maintain social distancing where possible
  • Face coverings are compulsory in most indoor public venues, as well as on public transport
  • Work from home if you can

It is now mandatory for nightclubs and large venues to check the Covid status of visitors over 18, with people having to show proof of being double-vaccinated or of a negative Covid test.

The Covid passport rules apply to indoor events with 500 or more attendees where people are likely to stand or move around, outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any events with 10,000 or more attendees, whether indoor or outdoor.

Support Over Christmas

The University have published some great advice for looking after yourself over Christmas and where you can turn to if you need any help or advice.

They suggest making the Christmas break work for you and offered directions to Student Space for advice, including making the most of your time at home, feeling uncomfortable about going home, or staying at Uni over the break.

If you need someone to talk to, the WhatsUp App is running until Christmas Eve, to contact our Student Wellbeing Service to get support and advice.

Most university support services - including MyPort Hubs, housing, and academic support - close on Thursday 24th December and re-open on Tuesday 4th January. 

Staying in Portsmouth over Christmas

There is lots you can get involved with if you are staying in Portsmouth over Christmas!

ResLife have a great line up of events and activities you can get involved with including a Christmas Film Night, a Picnic, a Winter Solstice Walk and a Games Night! You can check out their events here.

You can also check out some of the events happening at St Jude's Church in Southsea! From a Christmas Fayre to Carols by Candlelight, there will be something happening to help get you into the Christmas Spirit!

The most important thing this Christmas is to stay safe and stay healthy. Take some time to rest and recharge, ready to tackle anything 2022 might throw at you!

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