UK Christmas Covid rules: the key points

Up to three households will be able to come together to form a ‘Christmas bubble’.

Christmas decorations at the Trinity Leeds shopping centre
Christmas decorations at the Trinity Leeds shopping centre

The UK Government and the devolved administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have come together to agree a limited relaxation of coronavirus restrictions over Christmas.

These are the key points:

– Travel restrictions will be lifted across the UK for five days between December 23 and 27 to enable people from different households to gather over the holiday.

– Those travelling to and from Northern Ireland will be permitted to travel for an additional day either side.

– Up to three households will be able to come together to form a “Christmas bubble” during that period.

– Members of a bubble can meet at home, in places of worship and in outdoor public places.

– Bubbles must be fixed for the duration of the period and cannot be changed.

– Children under 18 whose parents live apart can be a part of both parents’ bubbles if they chose to form different groupings.

– In England, students who have returned home for the holidays are treated a part of their family household, rather than their student household, for the purposes of forming a Christmas bubble. The rules may vary in other administrations when detailed regulations are published.

– Bubble members will not be required to follow social distancing while they are together – although they are advised to exercise caution if there are vulnerable people involved.

– Members will not be able to get together in pubs or restaurants and restrictions on hospitality will be maintained depending on which tier people are living under.

– People are advised to reduce unnecessary contact with those they do not live with in the two weeks before they join a bubble.

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