Message from Julia Burrows, Barnsley Director of Public Health – 24 December 2021

As we approach the end of another difficult year for many people, with 12 months of various restriction changes, uncertainty, and now a new, more transmissible variant, I wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you.

I know many of you have quietly got on with wearing your face coverings in public places, following the guidelines, getting your vaccine, and doing all you can to protect yourselves and others – and I want to give special thanks to you. 

Throughout this pandemic, we’ve continued to see what Barnsley is famous for – community spirit; from volunteers working at our vaccine clinics, to people looking out for their neighbours and continuing to act with care and compassion as we’ve kept going through the adversity.

Christmas is more relaxed this year compared to 2020, with no formal restrictions on meeting up, and I know this will be welcome for many families who could not meet up to celebrate last year.

It is perhaps not as we hoped; the risk from Omicron will be on many people’s minds so I’m sure most of you will still be taking a cautious approach.

I’m looking forward to my own small family celebrations. Like many of you, we will be taking LFTs beforehand, and dressing warmly so we can open up windows to get fresh air circulating.

I encourage everyone to have a safe and happy Christmas – get tested, wear a face covering indoors where required when you are out and about shopping or socialising, think carefully about the number of different people you come into contact with, and get your booster vaccination this month (more information on

Whatever 2022 brings, Public Health and the council will do all they can to keep services going and the people of Barnsley safe.

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