The leaders of the decentralized governments will announce a plan for how families can meet this Christmas by the end of the week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to present his “Winter Covid Plan” to MPs on Monday (Nov. 23).
He will outline the restrictions that will replace the UK lockdown on December 2 and how people can celebrate the celebration together.
Michael Gove met with the Prime Minister of Scotland and Wales, and the First and Deputy Prime Ministers of Northern Ireland on Saturday to discuss joint arrangements for the festive period.
A government spokesman said there has been “good progress” by all administrations to design a single set of schemes that can be applied across the UK.
Ministers endorsed a shared goal of facilitating “a limited number of additional household bubbles for a small number of days”, but also stressed that the public will be advised to remain cautious and that people should avoid traveling wherever possible and minimize social behavior to have contact.
According to the Daily Telegraph, several households – possibly three – could temporarily create a bubble between December 22-28, with plans covering all four countries of the UK.
Restrictions on church services will also be lifted, allowing Christmas services to be held, the paper said.
But while there are no plans yet, ministers have made it clear that the holidays will be different than usual.
In Northern Ireland, ministers also recognized that people want to see family and friends all over the island of Ireland, and this is the subject of discussions with the Irish government.
Ministers also reiterated the importance of families and friends being able to meet in a careful and limited manner, while acknowledging that this will not be a normal festive period and that the risks of transmission remain very real.
The government says work is still ongoing to finalize the arrangements, including with regard to travel.
A spokesman said: “The UK, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Governments hope to complete this work this week, subject to the agreement of each government.”