UK government rejects restriction relaxation

Boris Johnson tests positive for covid-19, coronavirus restriction
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Britons have been urged to hold the festivities this season as cities across the nations enter tier 2 and 3 during Christmas.

Under the latest restrictions, families are only able to gather for the holidays with a maximum of three households, so long as they’re in the same ‘bubble’ starting from December 23 to 27.

Travel restrictions will also be lifted during this time. However, gatherings at pubs will be off limits as the industry will still be under the restrictions subject to their tier. The same principles apply to Northern Ireland who is currently under a two-week lockdown.

In Wales, people are advised to limit their bubbles to two households. Wales will also enter its third lockdown from December 28.

As for Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has recommended people only meet up on one day, and do not stay overnight unless it’s “unavoidable”.

In the latest announcements, it is evident the responsibility is left with the public especially when considering visiting elderly family members.

Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick, said families should “use their personal judgement to think carefully whether this is the right thing for their family and come to their own judgement.” The MP mentioned how he would be cancelling plans with his family to have a large get-together. “Why not wait and get the family back together in 2021?” he asked.

He told Sky News in his interview: “This is a virus that thrives on social interaction, so bringing more people together, even over this short period of time, is not cost-free. It will have consequences in terms of increasing the rate. It will rise.”

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham told Sky News: “I am hearing ministers this morning using the phrase ‘Easter is the new Christmas’. They are really now at risk of getting very, very confused…this has to be cleared up today.”

As the MPs gathered in parliament, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We have had a good start with the rollout of the vaccination programme.”

“We must remember transmission takes place asymptomatically in so many cases. 1 in 3 people are currently asymptomatic with Covid.”

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