Christmas is saved! ‘Multiple’ families will be able to celebrate together over holidays

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The relaxation will only be in place for roughly a week – between December 22 and December 28. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing an announcement where he will outline the Christmas rules early next week, the Daily Telegraph has claimed.

The PM has previously indicated England will return to a tiered system on December 2.

However, he is now due to say the strength of the December restrictions will depend on how successful the current lockdown period is.

It comes as the NHS prepares itself for the rollout of the UK’s first coronavirus vaccinations.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Friday COVID-19 has “cast a shadow over this incredibly difficult year”.

He added that the UK was now “near the peak” of the second wave.

The government’s most recent figures show 20,252 people were reported to have tested positive for coronavirus on Friday.

READ: Coronavirus latest: More than 40 vaccination sites will give jab to millions of people

It brings the seven-day total to 156,012 – down 15,000 cases, or -8.8 percent, from the previous seven days.

As the UK prepares for the rollout of a vaccine, dozens of vaccination centres are being set up around the country.

Earlier this year the government pre-ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine being developed by US company Pfizer.

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Sir John Bell, who is involved in the production of the UK’s Oxford vaccine, had previously said it “sounds a bit unlikely” that the Pfizer jab would be available through local GP surgeries due to the difficulty of storing and delivering it.

The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at temperatures as low as -80 degrees Celsius.

Last week the company, along with its German partner BioNTech, said its jab had proved 90 percent effective in preventing illness following phase 3 trials.

Mr Hancock has said he expects the UK to be ready to start using the vaccine by next month, as long as regulators approve it.

He added the “bulk” of the vaccine rollout would take place next year.

A draft rollout plan put together by NHS England shows the health service is planning for every adult in the country to be vaccinated by April.

Older people and care workers will be prioritised, but adults between the ages of 18 and 50 could begin receiving jabs as soon as January, the provisional timetable shows. The NHS plans were leaked to the Health Service Journal.

The Health Secretary said yesterday he has asked UK regulators to begin assessing the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

He stated: “This is another important step forward in tackling this pandemic.”

The government has also ordered 100 million jabs of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

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