Matt Hancock urges Christmas shoppers to avoid Tier 3 areas
Regulations for Christmas were announced earlier this month by the Prime Minister following the end of the national lockdown on December 2. Boris Johnson said when announcing the lifting of national lockdown restrictions: “I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year, but in a period of adversity time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and none.
“We all want some kind of Christmas, we need it, we certainly feel we deserve it.
“But what we don’t want is to throw caution to the winds and allow the virus to flare up again, forcing us all back into lockdown in January.
“So to allow families to come together, while minimising the risk, we’re working with the devolved administrations on a special time-limited Christmas dispensation, embracing the whole of the United Kingdom.”
Under the new rules, three households can mix over five days – these households cannot change over the period and mixing is allowed indoors and outdoors.
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Social distancing and face mask advice will also be relaxed within these bubbles.
The rules will be relaxed from December 23 to December 27.
The so-called ‘Christmas bubbles’ will be permitted across all four nations of the UK, after central Government and the devolved administrations agreed on the rules.
However, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned people should be careful about mixing in the run-up to Christmas if they are planning to see elderly relatives.
Can I travel in and out of Tier 3 at Christmas?
Yes – you can travel in and out of Tier 3 for Christmas this year.
There is also no limit on how far you can travel within the UK.
You are permitted to travel to any part of the UK you wish, so long as you are not breaking the three household rule outlined above.
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You should not change your arrangements midway through the relaxation window – you must only see these people and not mix with other households or groups.
Travelling abroad is basically out of the question, with almost every European country on the FCO’s do not travel list and with various quarantine rules in place at home and abroad.
People should be “extremely careful” about who they mix with in the run-up to Christmas if they are planning to see elderly relatives over the festive period, the Health Secretary has warned.
Matt Hancock said people should take “personal responsibility” around what they choose to do before and within the five-day period during which restrictions are relaxed.
He was asked at Monday’s Downing Street briefing if people should self-isolate from now if they want to see elderly loved ones during the festive relaxation period, which will begin next week.
He said: “I think that if you want to see elderly relatives at Christmas, we all know that the best thing to do is to make sure that you don’t have coronavirus, and the best thing you can do if you want to see elderly relatives at Christmas is to be extremely careful now about who you see.”
He said it is important that people are careful in this period “two weeks ahead, making sure you minimise the chance of both catching the disease and passing it on”.
He warned the public that it is not about “doing the maximum that the rules allow, it’s about taking personal responsibility”.
Professor Stephen Reicher, of the University of St Andrews, said: “Right now we are heading towards disaster.
“Given high levels of infection across the country and the increasing levels in some areas (such as London) it is inevitable that if we all do choose to meet up over Christmas then we will pay the price in the new year.”
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