Will Christmas Covid bubbles be cancelled?
BORIS Johnson is under pressure to tighten coronavirus restrictions amid fears a new variant is accelerating the spread of the disease.
Brits can bubble up with a maximum of three households for five days (December 23 – 27) over the Christmas period. But, with Scotland and Wales recommending that smaller bubbles should be formed, could the rules change in England?
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Are Christmas bubbles cancelled?
As it stands Christmas bubbles have not been cancelled.
The law permits that a maximum of three households can bubble up between December 23 and 27.
But, Boris Johnson said that gatherings should be kept "small" with as few bubbles as possible in a press conference to the nation on December 16.
The PM urged Brits to isolate beforehand by cutting contacts for five days before they see other households.
He tweeted on December 18: "Everyone must take personal responsibility to avoid passing the virus on to loved ones this Christmas."
And, all unnecessary social contact outside immediate families should be cut, according to Government guidance.
Wales' first minister Mark Drakeford said only two households should form a bubble over Christmas.
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said people should meet up in small bubbles for just one day over Christmas, with no overnight stays.
People should keep windows open and not share dishes if they can.
Scots should stay at home if they have not already made plans.
What areas will be affected?
Although rumours suggest the Christmas bubbles could be cancelled, it is unknown if this will apply across the whole of England.
Among those most at risk of missing out on a Christmas with their loved ones are Kent and London with the new Covid strain reportedly spreading rapidly through the South East.
The variant is said to be 50 per cent more contagious than the original strain.
What rules are replacing the Christmas bubbles?
It's not yet known what rules would replace the Christmas bubbles if they were to be cancelled.
The Government is considering tougher measures in response to the new covid strain.
The Prime Minister could announce new travel restrictions on London and Kent on Saturday after a chilling warning from medics that is poised to ruin Christmas for millions.
There is the possibility that England could be plunged into a third national lockdown although the PM has said he wants to "avoid" a full shutdown.
Northern Ireland and Wales will enter short-term lockdowns on December 26 and 28 in a bid to curb rising coronavirus infections.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth has called on Boris to set out how he intends to stem the spread of coronavirus in an address to the nation.
"It has been apparent for some days that the virus is again out of control in parts of the country. The Government's tiered system has failed to stem its spread.
"This is an incredibly serious moment and people are worried. The Prime Minister has refused to take action to limit the virus' spread over Christmas. All he has offered so far is confusion and indecision."
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