No plans to relax rules for Hogmanay

Modesto Morganelli
Novembre 25, 2020

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, couples or people living in shared accommodation will be able to join separate "bubbles" for the duration of Christmas, but in Scotland everyone living in a shared house will be counted as one of the three households.

Discussions between the four United Kingdom nations are still ongoing over the details of what will happen over the festive period.

Northern Ireland has negotiated a seven-day suspension of the rules to allow for people who need to catch flights or ferries to the mainland.

Ahead of the Cobra meeting chaired by Michael Gove, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was hoped they could agree a "common framework" across the United Kingdom, although there may be some regional differences.

"We can't afford to throw caution to the wind", he said in a video message.

"This can not be a "normal" Christmas. It is up to each of us to think carefully about how we use this time-limited special dispensation".

But he added it will be the "season to be jolly careful" as the previous tier system will be reintroduced from December 2.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, who chaired Tuesday's COBRA meeting, said: "We all know that Christmas this year won't be as it has been in years past".

"But all the governments agreed we should balance the need to protect public health with also allowing people to be with their loved ones".

Swale has the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the country
Swale has the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the country

You should travel to meet those in your Christmas bubble and return home between the 23 and 27 December.

Restrictions will prevent bubbles from going to the pub for a Christmas drink.

Each country will clarify their own rules on support bubbles and extended households.

He told Sky News: "The UK-wide agreement reached today will offer hope for families and friends who have made many sacrifices over this hard year".

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was "very clear" that a three-household bubble was "fixed" for the five-day period.

"We would ask people to continue to be cautious in terms of physical contact between different households", she said.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "While I have hesitation, because of the state of the virus in Wales and across the United Kingdom, it is better that we have a common set of arrangements that give people a framework that they can manage within and act responsibly within as well".

"We are all looking forward to Christmas and a chance to spend some time with all those we hold dear". But that has meant many sacrifices, including not seeing family and close friends.

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