Families 'could be allowed to meet for a week' at Christmas

Families can meet for a week at Christmas as part of a UK relaxation of the Covid restrictions.

‘Multiple families’ could join a social bubble and mingle between December 22 and 28, reports the Mirror.

The prime minister is probably preparing to announce a plan to relax the rules.

Health Minister Matt Hancock said it would be a ‘boost’ for the UK if all four countries could reach an agreement allowing families to meet during the festive season.

Downing Street has reportedly declined to comment on the plans, but has not denied the claims.

The government said an additional 511 people had died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19 as of Friday, bringing the UK total to 54,286, while a further 20,252 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases were reported.

On Friday, the Office for National Statistics said there were “substantial differences” in Covid-19 contamination rates across England, with rates continuing to rise in London, the East of England and the South East but declining in the North West and East. Midlands.

Sage said the reproduction number – or R-value – had dropped to between 1 and 1.1 for the entire UK.

During the coronavirus briefing on Friday, Mr. Hancock said, “At Christmas, I know how important it is for us to have a system, a set of rules that both protect people and allow people to see their loved ones.”

And he said he is becoming “ increasingly hopeful ” of some normalcy by the spring, as he confirmed that the UK health regulator is reviewing a coronavirus vaccine that could potentially be rolled out next month.

He described the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s consideration of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine as “another important step forward in tackling this pandemic.”

Referring to the “beam of light” a vaccine can deliver, he confirmed that he had formally asked the regulator to review the vaccine and that, if approved, a shot could be launched from December.

He said: “If the regulator approves a vaccine, we will be ready to start vaccination next month and most of the rollout in the new year.

“We are going in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go.”

Mr Hancock said that, with news of vaccine breakthroughs in recent weeks and an increase in mass testing, he has “growing confidence” that life will be closer to normal in the spring.

It’s because NHS documents seen by the Health Service Journal suggest that all adults in England – of any age – can be vaccinated against Covid-19 before the end of January if supplies permit.

According to the plan, any adult who wants a shot could be vaccinated in early April.

Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said earlier that he is “generally hopeful” that an agreement can be reached between the four UK countries on Christmas plans.

He said talks include inter-nation travel, how long a relaxation of restrictions can take and how far households are allowed to mix, and that further talks will take place next week.

Northern Ireland is set to go into a two-week circuit breaker this Friday, and Scotland has put two million people in the strictest restrictions in three weeks.