People can meet in bubbles of three households for five days at Christmas

The UK has agreed to relax rules at Christmas - allowing people to form a bubble of up to three households for a five-day period.

Households will be able to travel between local authorities and between the four nations from December 23 and 27.

But the Scottish Government says they must only form one bubble, meaning they can only meet two other households in total during that time.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "We know that for some, contact with friends and family is crucial during this time as isolation and loneliness can hit people especially hard over the Christmas period. The 'bubble' approach aims to reduce this impact.

"But we must be clear, there cannot be any further relaxation of measures for Hogmanay. Even this short relaxation will give the virus a chance to spread. Our priority is to suppress transmission of Covid-19 and reduce the risk to the vulnerable and those who have spent so long shielding - and that involves abiding by the rules.

"Just because you can mix with others indoors over this time, that doesn’t mean you have to. If you choose to stick with the rules as they are, then you will be continuing the hard work to beat this virus and prevent its spread."

The agreement states:

  • a bubble should be formed household to household only (i.e. different people in a household should not pick their own bubble).
  • between 23 and 27 December, people can meet in an exclusive bubble' composed of three households.
  • you should stay with your bubble where they are hosting you and you should follow the travel advice for the level you are in (e.g. people being hosted in a level 3 area cannot go on an outing to a level 2 area).
  • within your bubble, you can gather in a home, an outdoor place or a place of worship.
  • in all other settings - eg. hospitality, entertainment venues - those who have formed a bubble must only socialise with members of their own household.
  • households deciding to form a bubble will be advised to limit social contact before and after the period of relaxation.

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