Sunday 22 November 2020 4:56 pm

Bubbles and baubles: UK Covid restrictions set to be lifted for Chistmas

The government is set to lift Covid restrictions on Christmas eve to allow for up to four households to form holiday bubbles.

People in the four-household bubble will be able to interact indoors anywhere, including in pubs and restaurants.

Read more: In pictures: Westminster gets festive as parliament unveils Christmas tree

Downing Street has reportedly been in touch with the devolved governments of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland about the plan to ensure it is UK-wide.

The Sun reports that the Christmas changes will last until 28 December and that regions will then re-enter tiered Covid restrictions for the rest of the year.

The plan reportedly includes the caveat that social distancing restrictions must continue, meaning that Christmas hugs across households are banned.

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A statement from the Cabinet Office said: “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.

“As such, ministers endorsed a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days, but also emphasised that the public will be advised to remain cautious, and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact.”

They added: “In respect of Northern Ireland, Ministers also recognised that people will want to see family and friends across the island of Ireland, and this is the subject of discussions with the Irish Government.”

It comes as Boris Johnson prepares to make an announcement tomorrow setting out the details of the post-lockdown Covid plan.

Read more: Rishi Sunak confirms end of England Covid lockdown on 2 December

Lockdown will end on 2 December and England will move back into a regionalised approach.

A statement from Downing Street this morning said that the country will return to a three-tiered system, but that it will be stricter than previous iterations.

The statement said the three-tier system would be “strengthened” to “safeguard the gains made during the period of national restrictions”.

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