Brits warned to 'rethink' Christmas gatherings that 'aren't worth the risk' despite relaxed rules

BRITS should rethink their Christmas gatherings despite Covid rules being relaxed, Scrooge scientists have warned.

Up to three households will be able to mix from December 23 and 27 across the UK under official government guidelines.

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But experts have accused MPs of sending the wrong message by telling families to "follow the rules" and suggest the festive bubbles could lead to a deadly third wave.

Prof Devi Sridhar, the chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, told The Guardian: "If people [aren’t] cautious, then we will pay for our Christmas parties with January and February lockdowns.

"With a vaccine just weeks away, why risk infecting vulnerable and elderly people we love?”

Professor Susan of Mitchie, a psychologist at University College London and member of Sage, insists the "best thing" to keep loved ones safe is simply "not see them".

She said: "One has got to respond to the situation as it is, not the situation as we’d like it to be."

While Professor Stephen Reicher, who also sits on Sage, hinted at a spike in infections and said the government should give Brits the choice to meet but warn it is "dangerous".

The UK Government and devolved administrations have agreed a temporary easing of measures which will allow three households to mix in a bubble from December 23 to 27.

Social distancing will be relaxed within the bubbles, giving people the chance to hug friends and family for the first time in months.

Each bubble can meet at home, at a place of worship or an outdoor public location but not inside a restaurant or pub.

Ministers have also slashed the self-isolation period from two weeks to 10 days to help reunite families for Christmas.

But Boris Johnson warned families must make a "personal judgement" about the risk to vulnerable loved ones when forming a Christmas bubble.

And the PM urged the public to "think carefully" over the festive period.

It comes as London Essex, Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Gloucestershire plus Wiltshire and Swindon teeter on the edge of Tier 3.

The areas have seen a surge in Covid cases with any changes due to be announced on Wednesday.

London has now emerged as the coronavirus capital of England with extra cops and Covid marshals being scrambled to police the streets.

Under the toughest Tier 3 restrictions, pubs and hospitality venues would be forced to close and people would no longer be allowed to meet friends in gardens.

The rules on gathering with people from other households would then be relaxed from December 23 for five days to allow families to get together over Christmas, but other restrictions would remain in place.


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