UK Christmas Covid rules: What you need to know at a glance

The rules over the Christmas period when it comes to Covid are being relaxed. Credit: PA

It won't be a normal Christmas, but ministers from across the UK have agreed on a plan to give families some respite over five days for the festive season.

The UK Government and the devolved administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland came together on Tuesday for a common arrangement - one that will allow families to be closer than lockdown normally allows.

These are the key points at a glance:

  • Travel restrictions will be lifted across the UK for five days between December 23 and 27 to enable people from different households to gather over the holiday - this means travel between tiers will be allowed.

  • Those travelling to and from Northern Ireland will be permitted to travel for an additional day either side.

  • Up to three households will be able to come together to form a “Christmas bubble” during that period.

  • Members of a bubble can meet at home, in places of worship and in outdoor public places.

  • Bubble members will not be required to follow social-distancing while they are together – although they are advised to exercise caution if there are vulnerable people involved.

  • Members will not be able to get together in pubs or restaurants and restrictions on hospitality will be maintained depending on which tier people are living under.

While this could be welcome news for many, the prospect of having to pick just two out of potentially many households may not be an easy decision.

For example, if a family has more than two children living away from home then at least one child will not be able to join in the reunion - of hosted at the parents' house.

This does not apply to university students returning from halls at the end of term, however, as they would automatically rejoin their family household and therefore not be included as a separate household.