Three Households Allowed To Meet For Five Days Over Christmas
Up to three households in the UK will be permitted to mix for five days at Christmas time, with the rules being relaxed from December 23 up until December 27.
Government sources have now confirmed that families from different homes will be able to celebrate together at Christmas, after what has been an extremely difficult year.
This development comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the government will relax lockdown rules despite concerns expressed by health experts that this could result in more coronavirus cases.
Over the course of the weekend, the Prime Minister and the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland worked out an agreement which would allow ‘limited household bubbling’, however it’s understood this will by no means be a ‘normal’ Christmas.
A deal has reportedly now been reached, with a source having informed BBC News that there will soon be an announcement regarding how restrictions will be relaxed.
Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has previously made a statement explaining that the single set of arrangements over the Christmas period will apply to the whole of the UK.
Gove stated that the Prime Minister and First Ministers had a shared objective of allowing limited household bubbling, ‘but the public will be advised to remain cautious, and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact’.
Following the meeting on Saturday, November 21, ministers ‘reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real’.
Many families who had previously feared their celebrations would be impacted will now be able to be with their loved ones on the big day itself. However, this does not mean that the risk of infection will be in any way reduced, and people are urged to exercise caution.
Some health experts have warned that allowing different households to mix over Christmas will result in a rise in coronavirus cases, ultimately leading to tougher restrictions later on down the line.
Just last month, former government scientist Professor Neil Ferguson cautioned that easing measures over Christmastime will risk transmission ‘and there will be consequences of that’.
‘Some people will die because of getting infected on that day,’ he said, as per The Guardian. ‘But if it is only one or two days the impact is likely to be limited. So that is really a political judgement about the cost versus the benefits.’
Once national lockdown ends, it is believed more areas of the country will be placed into higher tiers in accordance with the new system.
Some local measures will be the same as those seen in the previous three-tier system, however some will be strengthened, Downing Street previously confirmed.
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