Covid: Will families be allowed to mix at Christmas?

Clay Curtis
November 23, 2020

Dr Gabriel Scally, epidemiologist and member of Independent Sage, went even further, insisting "there is no point in having a very merry Christmas and then burying friends and relations in January and February".

But the CRG warned against any post-Christmas increase in restrictions to counteract the relaxation in the letter signed by the group's leaders, former Brexit minister Steve Baker and ex-chief whip Mark Harper.

The Ministers have "endorsed a shared objective" of facilitating some "limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days".

Once England's lockdown expires on December 2, the country will return to a tougher version of the three-tier system, with more areas expected to be placed in higher tiers.

Restrictions on church services may also be lifted to allow Christmas Day services to be held. They agreed that limited "bubbling" should be allowed briefly over Christmas.

The answer seems to be yes, but the details remain to be finalised.

A statement from the Cabinet Office said: "Welcoming the good progress made by all administrations over the past few days to design a single set of arrangements that can apply across the United Kingdom, 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".

Mr Gove met with leaders of the devolved administrations in the United Kingdom over the weekend to agree "a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days". "This week there are hundreds of thousands of businesses around the country who don't know whether to bring staff back in a week's time - and we're two weeks away from national lockdown ending".

How long will the new system last?

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The BBC has reported that one option being discussed was for three households to be allowed to meet up over a "number of days, maybe five days".

It is believed that the households will have to choose who they're spending time with in advance and once this is done, they will be allowed to be indoors together - including going to the pub.

Talks between the governments will continue this week and full details of Christmas relaxation plans are not expected until after the first ministers of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have consulted their own cabinets.

- When will a decision be made?

"Work is continuing to finalise the arrangements, including relating to travel".

The statement concluded: "The UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive hope to conclude this work this week, subject to agreement by each administration".

- Does this mean Christmas has been saved?

But the CRG letter said: "We can not live under such a series of damaging lockdowns and apparently arbitrary restrictions, and expect our constituents to be grateful for being let out to enjoy the festive season, only to have strict restrictions imposed on them afterwards that cause them health problems and destroy their livelihood".

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