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Long-anticipated Christmas regulations have been announced by the Government, with the four nations of the UK adopting a combined approach to making Christmas as safe as possible as people travel to reunite with family and friends across the UK. Christmas Bubbles will allow people to see their loved ones over the festive period.
The new rules mean celebrations can go ahead in a reduced manner over a five day period, between December 23 to December 27.
Boris Johnson said when announcing the lifting of national lockdown restrictions: “I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year, but in a period of adversity time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and none.
“We all want some kind of Christmas, we need it, we certainly feel we deserve it.
“But what we don’t want is to throw caution to the winds and allow the virus to flare up again, forcing us all back into lockdown in January.
“So to allow families to come together, while minimising the risk, we’re working with the devolved administrations on a special time-limited Christmas dispensation, embracing the whole of the United Kingdom.”
Can I travel for Christmas if I live in Tier 3?
Yes – in England you will be able to travel between tiers during the Christmas period.
Once you have travelled, you should follow the rules for the tier you are in.
There is also no limit on how far you can travel – you can go anywhere in the UK you like.
Travelling abroad is basically out of the question, with almost every European country on the FCO’s do not travel list and with various quarantine rules in place at home and abroad.
The Government website reads: “From 2 December to 23 December, you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area.
“From 23 December to 27 December, you may choose to form a Christmas bubble.
“A Christmas bubble will be able to spend time together in private homes, to attend places of worship, or meet in a public outdoor place.
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“In all other settings, people should follow local restrictions in the tier in which they are staying.”
You can spend time with the people in your bubble in someone’s home, garden, places of worship or in an outside public space.
In terms of hospitality settings such as bars and pubs, you have to follow the guidance for the highest alert level in your Christmas bubble.
For example, if someone in your bubble is from a Tier 2 area, everyone in the bubble must follow the hospitality guidance for Tier 2.
The advice is slightly different in Scotland.
In Scotland you should also follow the travel advice for the level you are in during the Christmas period.
For example, people being hosted in a level 3 area in Scotland cannot go on an outing to a level 2 area.
The Scottish Government has also recommended that bubbles should contain no more than eight people.
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