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Matt Hancock has indicated that a major easing of coronavirus restrictions over the festive period is unlikely, confirming that "it won't be like a normal Christmas".
Speaking on Sky News this morning, the health secretary went on to say that he wants a country-wide set of rules in place over the festive season "if at all possible".
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He said: "Again, on this we don't know yet. I know how much, how important Christmas is, it is important to my family, it is important to people right across the country.
"We want to have a set of rules, if at all possible, that is UK-wide, not least because so many people travel between different parts of the UK."
Mr Hancock went on to say that government officials were working hard to map out an "agreed set of rules".
He continued: "So we are working with the devolved authorities to try to get an agreed set of rules for Christmas.
"It of course won't be like a normal Christmas. There will have to be rules in place. But we hope that they'll allow for a bit more of that normal Christmas that people really look forward to."
It comes as the four home nations England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - whose approaches to coronavirus measures have been drastically different this year - face major challenges in deciding on a new set of rules to navigate the country through the Christmas season.
Boris Johnson's Government has fallen under rising pressures from Tory MPs, along with members of the public and business owners, to lift the rules over the festive period.
However, scientific advisors have warned that such a shift could cause a rapid rise in the 'R' rate of infection and death toll.
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