BREAKING: Up To Three Households Allowed To Mix Indoors Over Christmas
Up to three households will be allowed to meet indoors this Christmas, it has been confirmed.
UK leaders have agreed to a five-day grace period over the Christmas holidays, enabling families to meet between 23rd and 27th December.
It comes after leaders from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland agreed to find a joint position for household mixing over the festive period amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
News of the so-called 'festive bubble' was confirmed by a source to the BBC this afternoon and is expected to be announced shortly.
The country will return to a regional three-tiered system next month, with people allowed to leave their house "for any purpose", and meet others in outdoor public spaces subject to the rule of six.
The new tier rules will be stricter than those prior to lockdown, however, and it is understood that more regions will be placed in higher tiers.
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Pubs in tier three must remain closed except for takeaway, while pubs in tier two will be able to serve alcohol only alongside "subtantial" meals. The 10pm pub "curfew" will be extended to 11pm, with last orders pushed back to 10pm in tiers 1 and 2.
Gyms and non-essential shops in all areas will be allowed to reopen when lockdown ends, Johnson added. They have been closed since lockdown began on since 5th November.
On Thursday the government is set to announce which tier every region of England will be put into. MPs will be able to vote on the tiering system before it comes into force.
These tiers will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and are subject to change based on the latest data and trends.
Meanwhile, the NHS is preparing to administer the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine next month, once it has been approved for use in the UK by regulators. It will be rolled out more widely in the new year.
The government announced on Monday that it had secured 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which has been found to be almost 95 per cent effective in preliminary tests.
The vaccine will not be available until spring; however the UK also has already secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash
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