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Three households will be able to mix together for a five-day period over Christmas under a UK-wide approach.
Between December 23 and 27, people will be able to move freely across the UK. The plan has been agreed between Westminster, the Welsh and Scottish governments and the Northern Ireland Executive.
According to a joint statement the rules are as follows:
- Travel restrictions across the four administrations will be lifted to provide a window for households to come together between December 23 and December 27.
- Up to three households can form an exclusive ‘bubble’ to meet at home during this period. When a bubble is formed it is fixed, and must not be changed or extended further at any point.
- Each Christmas bubble can meet at home, at a place of worship or an outdoor public place, but existing, more restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout this period.
Speaking after a meeting of the four governments today, Tuesday, November 24, the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford said: “This has been a very long and difficult year for everyone. All our lives have been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everyone has done so much to help control the spread of the virus and to save lives. But that has meant many sacrifices, including not seeing family and close friends. We are all looking forward to Christmas and a chance to spend some time with all those we hold dear.
“Today, I met the First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland and Michael Gove, from the UK Government, and I’m pleased we were able to agree a common four-nation plan for the festive period.”
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price MS welcomed the announcement but warned: “It’s crucial we don’t lose the hard-gotten gains of the last few months for the sake of a few days. Flexibility shouldn’t mean a free for all.
“Sadly, this will not be Christmas as normal and people must know that any relaxation also comes with risks. Government has a responsibility to ensure clear communication over the festive period, encouraging people to follow the guidelines, and we all have a responsibility to keep our friends and family safe.”
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