Proposals reportedly being considered by the Government would offer a respite from the strict lockdown restrictions which stop people from different households mixing in most parts of the UK
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Families may be allowed to get together for up to five days over Christmas in plans reportedly being considered by the Government.
In a bid to allow some kind of normality this festive period, the ban on different households mixing indoors may be lifted for a limited time only.
Starting on Christmas Eve and running to the Bank Holiday on Monday, December 28, strict lockdown restrictions could be partially eased.
The proposals would allow love ones to gather and spread some festive cheer, nine months after the country was first plunged into lockdown.
The rules have not been signed off by the Government yet, and represent just one of the options being considered, The Sun reports, while the Express says the number of days being looked at is three.
A source familiar with the talks between Whitehall, the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Irish executive confirmed to the Mirror that plans for a UK wide Christmas lockdown hiatus were being discussed, but that no firm details had been agreed.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma told the BBC “I want to have my mum and dad round” but added: “It’s too early to be reaching any conclusions on that.” He refused to say when any Christmas rules might be confirmed.
He added: “We will only be able to reach a point in terms of some semblance of normality if we’ve managed to get the infection under control.”
The options are aimed at providing a formal, safer framework for people to get together, as it’s feared Brits would just flout restrictions over the Yule Tide even they aren’t eased in some fashion.
The Government’s Sage scientists have been modelling the impact that groups bigger than six meeting up may have on coronavirus infection rates.
While larger groups from numerous households may be allowed to meet, it is likely bubbles will not be permitted to reform once they have been made.
Unlike the current lockdown restrictions which are devolved across the four nations, the plans may cover all of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
However, medics fear a full week of rules being relaxed would “normalise” mixing, leading them to suggest a five day period.
A spokesperson for No10 told The Sun : “We are looking at ways to ensure that people can spend time with close family over Christmas at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not sign off on the plans until next month, it his claimed.
Other proposals are being considered along a “sliding scale” depending on how high the coronavirus infection rate is in December.
One option is to exempt under-12s from rules on gathering sizes, meaning larger groups with kids could meet.
Whether it returns to the tiered system, in which household mixing indoors is outlawed in the top two tiers, depends on the infection rate.
A Downing Street spokesman told the Express: “We are looking at ending national restrictions on December 2 and moving to a tier system.
“There will be separate rules for Christmas but no decision has been taken about those yet.”
News – Christmas could be saved as PM ‘plans five days of household mixing indoors’