Christmas get-together plan by UK nations


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Christmas get-together plan by UK nations

Christmas get-together plan by UK nations to allow some household get-together “for a small number of days”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to unveil a tougher three-tiered system for England – to be introduced at the end of the current lockdown on 2 December.

Christmas get-together plan by UK nations

The 10pm closing time for pubs and restaurants will also be relaxed.

Work to finalise the arrangements for a UK-wide approach to restrictions this Christmas is ongoing.

Gyms and non-essential retail are expected to be allowed to re-open in all areas under the new plans.

Last orders in pubs and restaurants will remain at 10pm, but customers will have an extra hour to drink up.

The Cabinet Office said ministers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had endorsed a “shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days”.

Christmas get-together plan by UK nations have emphasised that the public will be advised to “remain cautious”, and that “wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact”.

Discussions are continuing – including about travel arrangements – but it is hoped agreement on the joint approach can be reached this week. The Scottish government said “no agreement has been reached”.

Government ministers and advisers have been hinting about new tougher tiers over the past week.

Before lockdown there was some evidence that tiers two and three were having an impact, but not tier one.

Crucially, both the top two tiers involved banning mixing inside homes, so one option being discussed behind the scenes is introducing a ban across all the tiers until winter is over.

The exception will, of course, be Christmas.

That is a move that divides opinion. But the government sees it as a necessity, believing significant numbers of people will ignore any attempt to ban gatherings over the festive period.

It is also a recognition the public needs a break from the long hard slog of the pandemic.

Infection rates will of course rise, but that will be offset to some extent by a wider boost to wellbeing.

Source: BBC