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25 November 2020 00:30

Boris Johnson Lockdown Coronavirus

Christmas Covid rules finally announced with five days of households mixing

Three households will be able to mix for five days at Christmas time, after the leaders of the UK's four nations agreed a festive deal. The relaxation of coronavirus restrictions will come between December 23 and 27, allowing relatives to celebrate Christmas together at home. Christmas bubbles will have to be exclusive over the five day period, meaning people cannot move from one three-house group to another. Bubbles will only be able to gather in private homes, go to outdoor public spaces and attend places of worship together – they will not be able to meet together in hospitality settings. Children whose parents are separated will be able to move between two separate bubbles, but elderly care home resident will not to join their families.

Following a meeting between the UK Government and devolved administrations to thrash out a nationwide approach, the four nations released a joint statement which warned that this year cannot be a 'normal' Christmas and lifted travel restrictions during the period. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has acknowledged the risks involved in a Christmas relaxation, saying 'tis the season to be jolly careful' – but is determined to give families the chance to meet up at the end of a grim year. All four UK nations have agreed that from the 23rd to the 27th of December, you will be able to form a Christmas bubble of no more than three households. 'Even where it is within the rules, meeting with friends and family over Christmas will be a personal judgement for individuals to take, mindful of the risks to themselves and others, particularly those who are vulnerable.' People aged over 65 in care homes will not be able to join their families for Christmas under the new guidance. But in families where three children live away from home, they would not all be able to return for Christmas.

'This is particularly important when considering those who are vulnerable, and before deciding to come together over the festive period we urge the consideration of alternative approaches such as the use of technology or meeting outside.' But social distancing will not be necessary in the Christmas bubbles, though people will be advised to exercise restraint and judgment if they plan to mix with vulnerable friends or family. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, who chaired the meeting, said: 'The UK-wide agreement reached today will offer hope for families and friends who have made many sacrifices over this difficult year. The rules at a glance – Travel restrictions will be lifted across the UK for five days between December 23 and 27 to enable people from different households to gather over the holiday. – In England, students who have returned home for the holidays are treated a part of their family household, rather than their student household, for the purposes of forming a Christmas bubble. 'We know that the Christmas period this year will not be normal, but following constructive discussions between the UK Government and the devolved administrations, families and friends will now have the option to meet up in a limited and cautious way across the UK should they wish.

'In coming to this agreement, we have listened to scientific and clinical advice on how best to minimise the risk and reach a balanced and workable set of rules that we hope will allow people to spend time together at this important time of year.' She said: 'We know that for some, contact with friends and family is crucial during this time as isolation and loneliness can hit people especially hard over the Christmas period. Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster added: 'We of course recognise how important Christmas time is for so many people in Northern Ireland and the fact we have been able to secure agreement across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland – the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom – is very strong because of course we know that people will want to come together from the four parts of the UK to be together at Christmas.' In England, the Government has already announced new tiered restrictions which will come into effect on December 2 and could last until the end of March – apart from any Christmas relaxation. Lockdown rules for Christmas across the whole UK have been confirmed by the government after a four-nation coronavirus summit. Three households will be able to join together under one roof in an exclusive 'Christmas bubble' for five days UK-wide, between December 23-27. Currently England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are have different sets of lockdown rules through December.

Under a Christmas plan, these will essentially be suspended for five days and replaced with one set of national, UK-wide rules. You do not need to maintain social distancing with people in your Christmas bubble. That means three support bubbles of six households could potentially join together for Christmas. As long as you stick with your individual Christmas bubbles, you're fine to all go back home to stay with your individual parents. If you're one of those people heading home, you'll count as one of the three households in your Christmas bubble.

Guidance is due to be published on allowing care home residents under 65 out for Christmas to see family. Care home residents under 65 will be able to return to families and form a bubble after a risk assessment. Yes. Children whose parents live apart will be able to move freely between two entirely separate Christmas bubbles. In other words, that household can then join with two further households in a Christmas bubble, even though the student was away from home until the beginning of December. If they did, it would mean your Christmas bubble had more than three households in total. "Even where it is within the rules, meeting with friends and family over Christmas will be a personal judgement for individuals to take, mindful of the risks to themselves and others, particularly those who are vulnerable." Christmas Covid rules: Three households can meet indoors as UK restrictions lifted for five-day period Rules will be relaxed to allow families to see each other for days over Christmas People will be able to join "Christmas bubbles" to allow families to reunite over the festive period. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said the Christmas plans would offer "hope for families and friends" after a "difficult" year of coronavirus restrictions. "We know that the Christmas period this year will not be normal, but following constructive discussions between the UK Government and the devolved administrations, families and friends will now have the option to meet up in a limited and cautious way across the UK should they wish. But as we approach the festive period, we have been working closely together to find a way for family and friends to see each other, even if it is for a short time, and recognising that it must be both limited and cautious. Even where it is within the rules, meeting with friends and family over Christmas will be a personal judgement for individuals to take, mindful of the risks to themselves and others, particularly those who are vulnerable. Travel restrictions across the four administrations and between tiers will be lifted to provide a window for households to come together between the 23rd and 27th of December. Up to three households can form an exclusive 'bubble' to meet at home during this period. Each Christmas bubble can meet at home, at a place of worship or an outdoor public place, but existing, more restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout this period. The winter holiday period is a time often spent with family and friends, with schools and offices closing and people travelling over the bank holidays.