Covid: Scotland announces eight-person limit for Christmas bubbles

The Scottish government has imposed a limit on numbers for those who form bubbles over the Christmas period. Credit: PA

People in Scotland can form bubbles of three households over the festive period, provided they contain no more than eight people over the age of 11.

Between December 23 and 27, Covid-19 restrictions will be relaxed in Scotland.

Although the UK government announced similar rules on Tuesday, it did not specify a limit on the number of people a bubble should contain. The guidance did, however, advise that the bubble be kept "as small as possible".

Wales and Northern Ireland have yet to publish separate guidance, which could contain variations in approaches.

However, the UK government has announced that those travelling to Northern Ireland may travel on December 22 and 28, but should only meet their Christmas bubble between December 23 and 27.

A Christmas shop in Stirling, Scotland Credit: PA

Guidance from the Scottish government stresses that although bubbles can be formed, the safest way to spend the festive period is to "stay within your own household, in your own home and your own local area".

It advised people "wherever possible" to stay in touch with those outside their household through technology or meeting outdoors. The guidance also suggests minimising numbers and duration if opting to meet indoors.

"Just because we are providing advice on how to spend Christmas with other people... it does not mean you have to do it, and you should not feel pressured to spend Christmas in or with another household," the guidance states.

Nicola Sturgeon Credit: Andy Buchanan/PA

The Scottish government also advises that should bubbles be formed, people from different households remain two metres away from each other. Children under 12 are exempt from these physical distancing rules.

Those who have been advised to shield have been told to think carefully about forming bubbles over the Christmas period.

"Being part of a bubble would involve greater risks for you as you would be increasing the number of people you have contact with," the government stated. 

"It is important that you do not feel pressured to celebrate the festive season in an environment that makes you anxious."