Matt Hancock asked again about Christmas Covid rules

Health Minister Matt Hancock said it is too early to say what contact people can have at Christmas – or what restrictions will apply.

He told a press conference on Downing Street that the government and the decentralized administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland want a “consistent set of rules” in all parts of the UK.

He said, “At Christmas, I know how important it is for us to have a system, a set of rules that both keep people safe and allow people to see their loved ones.

“Many people have relatives in different parts of the UK, so we are working with the UK government and the three decentralized administrations to try to have a consistent set of rules in all four countries so that it will be easier for people to travel and their loved ones.

“But there must be rules, because of course we also want to protect people.”

He added: “I have a lot of respect for the work being led by others to see if we can get a British approach, so I hesitate to comment any more on what the Christmas arrangements could be.

“I just think it would be such a boost to the whole UK if the four countries each responsible for healthcare in a decentralized way could come together and agree on a set of arrangements that are both safe and careful and sensible, but also enable families to see each other at Christmas. “

Mr Hancock told reporters that no decisions have been made on what additional restrictions may be required after the lockdown was relaxed in England on December 2.

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

Meanwhile, Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said there was evidence that the Welsh firebreak had successfully had an impact in lowering the transmission rate of the coronavirus.

Mr Hancock said: “We are now doing the work on what will happen after December 2, it is still too early to say.

‘I’m afraid we still haven’t made those decisions.

He added that he has become “increasingly confident” that life will be closer to normal in the spring.