Households will be able to mix over the Christmas period as the Covid-19 rules will be relaxed for five days

All four UK governments have came to an agreement which will see the coronavirus restrictions relaxed for five days over the festive period – these are the rules that you will need to know.
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Starting on December 23 and ending on December 27, social restrictions will be relaxed meaning that three households will be able to gather together for the Christmas period.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Monday, November 23 that Christmas “cannot be normal” this year and that “careful judgements” need to be made over visiting family.

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A joint statement from all four UK governments said: “As 2020 draws to a close, we recognise it has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.

Households will be allowed to mix this Christmas. Photo: PA.Households will be allowed to mix this Christmas. Photo: PA.
Households will be allowed to mix this Christmas. Photo: PA.
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“We have all had to make significant sacrifices in our everyday lives, and many religious and community groups have already had to change or forgo their customary celebrations to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives."

Despite restrictions being relaxed, there are still rules that the public need to follow over the five-days.

These are the details you need to know ahead of the Christmas period:

Bubbles must be exclusive

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If three households bubble together for the five-day period, it must be exclusive, meaning that people cannot move from one bubble to another during the relaxation.

Bubbles will only be able to gather in private homes, go to outdoor public spaces and attend places of worship together.

Children whose parents are separated will be able to move between two separate bubbles.

You cannot go to the pub with your bubble

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This suggests that pubs and restaurants will remain closed over the festive period if they are in a tier 3 region.

Household bubbles will also not be permitted to meet in any hospitality settings.

You can travel across the UK to visit and stay with family

The relaxation of measures means that families can travel across the whole of the UK to see their loved ones over the Christmas holiday.

Shared households in England, such as friends sharing a flat, would be able to split up to join other households for the five-day period.

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However, in families where three or more children live away from home, they would not all be able to return for Christmas.

University students can return home

University students returning from halls at the end of term would automatically rejoin their family household and therefore not be included as a separate household.

Boris Johnson stated on Monday, November 23 that testing would be stepped up for students returning home to ensure that they do not spread Covid-19 to their relatives.

Residents in care homes

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As part of the winter strategy, the Government have committed to improving testing for both care home residents and their families to ensure that they can receive visits and hug in the run up to Christmas.

Care home staff will also be tested once a week to ensure they do not have Covid-19.

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