The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reiterated that “we don’t want to ban Christmas” after the UK’s four nations agreed to keep a plan that will see loosened coronavirus regulations during the Christmas season.
“We do recognise the human spirit will want to celebrate Christmas, that you cannot constrain people too much” said Boris Johnson as it was confirmed that people will still be able to form social bubbles, permitting household mixing, over Christmas.
But the reaffirmation came with strengthened guidance and changes to the plan in Wales. “A shorter Christmas is going to be a safer Christmas” said the Prime Minister, as public health experts in Scotland asked people to only meet on one of the five days over the period.
The Prime Minister did not go so far, but did stress that opportunities to mix three households over five days during the Christmas holidays “are maximums, not targets to aim for, and it’s always going to be safest to minimise the number of people you meet.”
He also called for people with Christmas plans to begin limiting their contact with others as early as this Friday, to help slow the spread of the virus, and he further called on people from heavily infected areas to avoid spending the night when visiting people in areas with a smaller incidence of the virus.
In Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford has slashed Christmas bubbles to just two households and warned that the region will enter a new lockdown from 28 December. The lockdown will once again see the closure of non-essential shops.
But while the tone from government and devolved administrations continues to be one of caution, many see hope on the horizon with the successful early rollout of the government’s vaccine scheme. It was today revealed that more than 130,000 people have been vaccinated in just one week.