Christmas SAVED: Michael Gove confirms families CAN mix over festive period across UK | UK | News

The Cabinet Office minister met with leaders of the devolved administrations over the weekend to agree “a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days”. But the public will be “advised to remain cautious” and told that “wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact”.

A statement from the Cabinet Office said: “Welcoming the good progress made by all administrations over the past few days to design a single set of arrangements that can apply across the UK, ministers reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real.

“As such, ministers endorsed a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days, but also emphasised that the public will be advised to remain cautious, and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact.

“In respect of Northern Ireland, ministers also recognised that people will want to see family and friends across the island of Ireland, and this is the subject of discussions with the Irish Government.

“Work is continuing to finalise the arrangements, including relating to travel.

“The UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive hope to conclude this work this week, subject to agreement by each administration.”

The Prime Minister will reveal plans on Monday for some relaxation of coronavirus rules to allow mixing between households across the UK for Christmas.

Mr Johnson will also unveil a new three-tier system for when England’s national lockdown ends on December 2.

READ MORE: England on lockdown until EASTER: Farage issues warning

“Obviously that’s something that we would like to do and it’s been a difficult year for all of us, but as I said it’s not going to be a normal Christmas this year.”

On Thursday, ministers will detail what tier each area will be placed into under the tougher system of local measures.

They are optimistic that restrictions can be gradually reduced in the run-up to spring.

If vaccines are approved by regulators, the rollout of a jab will begin next month.

It comes as the Government on Sunday confirmed a further 18,662 coronavirus cases, while the death toll increased by 398.

Professor Calum Semple, of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told Sky that “in reality we can’t ban Christmas” because it would “simply lead to breaches”.

Sage colleague Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter warned easing restrictions over Christmas would have costs.

He told Times Radio: “There will be a price to pay for it, obviously, you relax restrictions and infection rates go up, you constrain and infection rates will come down as they are going down at the moment.”

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