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lily

Covid: Christmas safety advice 'set to be strengthened'

Reported by lily | December 15th, 2020 @ 11:51 PM

Covid: Christmas safety advice 'set to be strengthened'

Advice around celebrating Christmas safely across the UK is expected to be significantly strengthened in the coming days, the BBC has been told.

People are likely to be urged to think carefully about travelling and to stay local where possible.

However, it is unlikely the agreed rules - allowing up to three households to mix for five days - will change.

Officials from all four nations held talks on Tuesday - and more are scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

It comes amid concern that relaxing the restrictions will fuel a further surge in Covid-19 case numbers.

Two leading medical journals described the current rules as "rash".

A source said no final decisions had been taken but people are likely to be told that the relaxations are limits not targets and that they should be cautious when forming household bubbles.

It is still hoped a common approach can be agreed across the four nations.

Under the agreed Christmas rules, travel restrictions will be eased from 23 to 27 December to allow up to three households to form a bubble and stay overnight at each other's homes.

A spokeswoman for Northern Ireland's government said scientific advisers would be consulted ahead of any decision, while a Welsh government spokesman said talks on Wednesday would "confirm the position".

Ahead of the talks, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon argued there was a "case" for tightening the planned freedoms to combat a rise in infections and indicated she could break with the four-nations approach.

Meanwhile, another 18,450 cases and 506 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported in the UK on Tuesday, government figures showed.

Read the news and follow the situation here. : slotxo

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