Ministers from England and the devolved nations have agreed to allow ‘some limited additional household bubbling’
Households will be allowed to ‘bubble up’ in order to spend Christmas together for a number of days, it has been reported.
Ministers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have endorsed a shared objective of allowing “some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days” over Christmas, the Cabinet Office has said.
Families will have to choose their bubble in advance and will be allowed to spend time indoors with them – including at the pub – as the coronavirus restrictions are slightly relaxed.
But following a meeting on Saturday, ministers for the home nations “reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real”.
Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, met the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales and the First and Deputy Ministers of Northern Ireland to discussed shared arrangements for the festive period, the Cabinet Office said.
A statement from the Cabinet Office said: “Welcoming the good progress made by all administrations over the past few days to design a single set of arrangements that can apply across the UK, ministers reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real.
“As such, ministers endorsed a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days, but also emphasised that the public will be advised to remain cautious, and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact.
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“In respect of Northern Ireland, ministers also recognised that people will want to see family and friends across the island of Ireland, and this is the subject of discussions with the Irish Government.
“The UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive hope to conclude this work this week, subject to agreement by each administration.”
It comes after Downing Street confirmed on Saturday night that England will enter a ‘strengthened three-tier system’ from December when the lockdown in England comes to an end.
In some areas tiers will be strengthened to safeguard the gains made during the national lockdown.
Boris Johnson is expected to detail his plan for winter including information on how families can see their loved ones at Christmas, to MPs on Monday.
Ministers will then set out what tier each area will be placed into on Thursday (November 26), two weeks before the national lockdown comes to an end, with MPs being given the promised vote to approve the tiering system before it comes into force.
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