Christmas lockdown rules relaxed to allow three households to celebrate together
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Families from three households will be allowed to celebrate Christmas together across the UK.
Bubbles from three households will be able to meet between December 23 and December 27 over the festive period, according to new lockdown rules reported by the Mirror Online.
The plans, which were reportedly approved by leaders of all UK nations at a COBRA meeting on Tuesday afternoon, were led by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove.
The new rules will apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which all currently have separate coronavirus restrictions.
More details about the temporary festive relaxation are expected to follow.
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The new rules follow weeks of speculation that the Government's social distancing policies would be halted somewhat over Christmas due to popular demand from those who haven't been able to see their families all year.
On Monday Boris Johnson said great care would still need to be taken over Christmas to ensure Covid-19 cases did not rise again as a result.
"It is the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to be jolly careful," he said in a press conference from Downing Street where he is currently self-isolating.
The Prime Minister also announced the new Covid Winter Plan which will take the UK through to the end of March.
It involves returning to the three-tiered alert system after the national lockdown ends on December 2, although changes to restrictions have been made.
"These tiers will be strengthened compared to the previous tiers in order to prevent a return to growing infections," the Government said on its official website.
"We know that social contact spreads the virus. We need to impose these restrictions and it is right to target the toughest measures only in the areas where the virus is most prevalent or where we are seeing sharper increases in the rate of infection."
More regions than before the lockdown are expected to face Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions, with tougher rules for hospitality in the areas with high infection rates.
In Tier 2, alcohol can only be consumed with a "substantial meal" while in Tier 3 pubs and restaurants will only be able to offer takeaway or delivery services.
People in England will find out which tier they are being placed in this Thursday.
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