UK keeps Christmas rules but some advice changes

The four UK nations have “unanimously” agreed to keep relaxed Christmas Covid rules in place, the prime minister has said – but Scotland and Wales have strengthened their own guidance.

Eased rules will still be in place from 23 to 27 December, but leaders urged people to keep social contact low.

Boris Johnson said people must show “personal responsibility” and try to avoid contact with vulnerable people.

UK leaders had come under pressure to review the plan as infections rise.

Only two households are now advised to mix over the five-day period in Wales, with the nation beginning a fresh stay-at-home lockdown as soon as the Christmas relaxation period ends.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her “strong recommendation” was that people should, if they can, spend Christmas “in your own home with your own household”.

Mr Johnson said discussions between the four nations on Wednesday morning had resulted in “unanimous agreement” that the existing plan for Christmas should go ahead “because we don’t want to criminalise people’s long-made plans”.

But he told the House of Commons everyone “should exercise extreme caution in the way we celebrate Christmas”, adding it was “absolutely vital” that people show “a high degree of personal responsibility”.

He urged people to be particularly careful when they come into contact with vulnerable people – and should avoid contact with elderly people “wherever possible”.

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