Coronavirus rules will be relaxed at Christmas across the UK as part of plans to allow people to celebrate with their families.
The leaders of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have agreed that their respective restrictions should be changed to harmonize “for a few days” during the festive season.
A statement released on Sunday confirmed that while the details are still in effect, permission has been granted to provide “extra home bubbles.”
Following the end of the national lockdown in England on December 2, the Prime Minister is again working at the regional level.
Boris Johnson is set to elaborate on his winter strategy on Monday afternoon, and ministers will determine at what level each region is moving on Thursday.
What to expect at Christmas?
Several families – Possible three – Temporary bubble formation may be allowed between 24 and 28 December.
According to the report, four countries in the UK could be included in these plans.
Restrictions on church services may also be lifted to allow Christmas Day services to be held.
After talks with leaders from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Cabinet Office Secretary Michael Gove’s statement formally assured the family of the opportunity to see each other.
“The ministers have supported a common goal to facilitate some extra bubbles for a few days,” he said, adding that talks were under way with the Irish government to see the people of Northern Ireland settle there.
However, the public will be “advised to be vigilant” and be told that “people should avoid traveling and minimize social contact wherever possible”, a statement from his department said.
What does the new system look like – until Christmas on December 2nd?
The country will return to the three-tier system of regional restrictions, which was in effect from October 14 to November.
More fields are expected to enter the upper end of the tiered system next month and while many arrangements will be the same as in previous places, the levels will be further strengthened in some areas.
- Unnecessary retail will be allowed to open at all three levels
- The gym will be allowed to open
- The 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants will be lifted
- A mass testing program should be launched in the Tier 3 region using the military as part of Liverpool’s pilot program.
How long will the new system last?
If the government approves the vaccines by optimistic regulators, it is possible to gradually reduce them before spring runs out if it allows rollouts to begin next month before a larger program in the new year.
However, it is uncertain whether any vaccine will be approved in time.
What was the original level?
- Level 1 (Medium): Six rules if seen inside or outside the home; Pubs and restaurants close at 10 p.m.
- Level 2 (high): There is no household mix in the household; The six rules apply outside; Pubs and restaurants close at 10 p.m.
- Tier 3 (too high): not mixed inside any home or any outdoor space; Pubs and bars that do not provide food are closed
Will Boris Johnson get his plan in the House of Commons?
A large conservative faction will be disappointed that the tough national lockdown is coming to an end, but 70 of them, known as the “Quid Recovery Group” of backbench Tories, have issued a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to “disclose the cost / benefit analysis” of the new system.
“If the government does not show the proposed restrictions after December 2, we can no longer support this approach … more lives will be saved than they spend,” they wrote.
In an interview with Sophie Ridge on Sunday, Chancellor Ishii Sunak was reluctant to make the claim three times, simply saying: “It is true that we are looking at all the effects of the coronavirus fight in the round and they are not just economic.”