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 Manchester and England as a whole, Andy Burham told BBC Radio 4 this morning: “I think it is potentially difficult now to change the plans that people have made,
“But I think the strong messaging does have to come in. I think people should now be thinking about changing their plans. I think that is where we are. It always was the case that five days, three households, in my view was too much.”
Burnham added: “If you place cities in Tier 3 around this period, particularly around New Year time, I think the closure of hospitality in a blanket way will create more social gatherings in the home – and that is what the experts always say creates most spread of the virus,
“Coming off the back off the Christmas period I do think that’s a risk. I think a more sensible approach would be Tier 2 with a shorter Christmas period.”