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Relaxed Christmas Rules Will Go Ahead As Planned, UK Governments Confirm

Laura Rogan Laura Rogan

christmas with housemates table

The government is pushing ahead with their relaxed Christmas restrictions.

The four nations will press ahead with the previously announced loosened restrictions for Christmas, Boris Johnson has announced today. The news comes following pressure on Ministers to rethink their decision, as a result of rising cases across the country.

The regulations will begin on December 23-27, allowing three households to mix indoors for the festive period – regardless of tier. The restrictions will also allow people to travel, despite differing rules, in order for families to see each other for the five-day period. A joint statement is expected from the four nations later today.

While the government has set out in law the maximum numbers of households that will be permitted to mix during the Christmas period, the Prime Minister has said that people should “exercise a high degree of personal responsibility”, with Christmas travel adviser, Sir Peter Hendy, urging the public to “stay local” if they can.

Here are the rules around the festive period:

Between 23 and 27 December:

  • 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 you are meeting in
  • if you form a Christmas bubble, you should not meet socially with friends and family that you do not live with in your home or garden unless they are part of your Christmas bubble

Speaking of both the situation in Scotland and the UK as a whole, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her “strong recommendation” was that people should spend Christmas “in your own home with your own household”, and if they did mix with others they should not do so for the entire five-day period.

The First Minister said: “If you are having any interaction with other households, try and make that outdoors. If you are meeting outdoors, the guidance is keep the numbers and duration as small as possible and follow the other mitigations.

She added: “We will set out advice if you are living in any of the nations in one of the highest level of protection – which in England and London is tier three – then we don’t think you should be travelling to other parts of the UK.

“I hate with every fibre of my being trying to regulate how you spend Christmas. The reality is this Christmas simply can’t be normal, but we have every hope that next Christmas will be.”

[Featured image: Adobe Stock]

Read more: 12 Fabulously Festive Things To Do This Christmas While Living Under Level 3 Restrictions