Hopes of family Christmas get-togethers rising
Hopes are rising that Covid-19 restrictions might be relaxed so families can celebrate Christmas together – but it could come at a price.
Scientists today confirmed they are drawing up plans the government could use to loosen lockdown over Christmas and reports suggest Boris Johnson could relax lockdown rules for between three and five days.
The Sun has claimed that families may be able to mix indoors for five days from Christmas Eve.
The government’s medical adviser on Covid, Dr Susan Hopkins, said they wanted Christmas to be “as close to normal as possible”.
However she continued that tougher restrictions could be needed either side of Christmas if curbs were to be eased over the festive period.
“Coming into Christmas we need to be very careful about the number of contacts that we have, to reduce transmission before Christmas and get our cases as low as possible,” she told a Downing Street briefing.
“Hopefully the government will make the decision that will allow us to have some mixing, but we will wait and see what that is.
“Once we have got past the Christmas period, if there has been a release and some socialisation, we will all have to be very responsible and reduce those contacts again.”
She added: “This is a decision that will be made by government and I know that they’re working hard to develop an outline of what that will look like and what the new tiers will look like post-December 2 and what Christmas will look like.”
All four UK nations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – are trying to work out a common approach to Christmas so families spread across the UK can still meet up.
Final decisions will not be made for a few weeks while health chiefs wait to see whether cases have started to come down during the lockdown in England, said the BBC.
England is expected to come out of its second national lockdown on 2 December and return to the tier system of localised restrictions, with household mixing banned indoors in the top two tiers.