Christmas is now just a month away, and for many plans for the festive season have taken a step back due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Now Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed a way for families to see each other over Christmas in a brief break from restrictions.
The current second lockdown – dubbed lockdown 2.0 – will end on December 2, and England will see a return to tiered restrictions.
Areas across the UK will be placed into either Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 depending on the coronavirus cases and other criteria.
However, Britons will have a break from the stringent rules over the festive period in a so-called Christmas bubble it has been revealed.
From December 23 to December 27 three households will be able to meet indoors, with Mr Johnson calling on families to make a “personal judgment” about the risks of coronavirus to vulnerable loved ones when forming a Christmas bubble.
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According to the Government website, between Wednesday, December 23 and Sunday, December 27:
- you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
- you can only be in one Christmas bubble
- you cannot change your Christmas bubble
- you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
- you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
- you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying
- you cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble
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This means you cannot see other people who are not part of your Christmas bubble during these dates.
However, you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier you are staying in.
Mr Johnson acknowledged the measures would not add up to a “normal Christmas” and urged people to exercise caution, particularly when meeting with the elderly or the vulnerable.
In a video message posted on Twitter, Mr Johnson said: “We can’t afford to throw caution to the wind.
“The virus doesn’t know it’s Christmas and we must all be careful.
“I know this doesn’t equate to a normal Christmas and it won’t work for everyone.
“And it is up to each of us to think carefully about how we use this time-limited special dispensation.
“The virus has not gone away and families will need to make a personal judgment about the risk of forming a bubble with or visiting elderly relatives and the vulnerable.”