Christmas ‘bubbles’ explained – from eating out to seeing Gran

BOJO has officially saved Christmas – during yesterday’s COBRA meeting the four nations decided to give us all a festive boost following months of relentless restrictions and allow Christmas bubbles of up to three households to mix.

From 23rd-27th December COVID restrictions will be eased and up to three households (of any size) can mix in an extended Christmas bubble. That means, for the first time since March, social distancing will not apply, so you can give your mum a big squish without fear of Dorris across the road dobbing you in.

We must all be jolly careful though…

Although the news will come as a relief for many, who were half expecting an extended lockdown to continue well beyond Christmas, once a Christmas bubble has been formed, it cannot be changed. So choose wisely!

Great news for students too

In England, students returning from University for the holidays will automatically rejoin their family household and will not be considered a separate household.

The rules on bubbles

Bubbles will be allowed to mix indoors, in public outdoor settings as well as in places of worship. However, bubbles will not be allowed to meet in hospitality spaces including, pubs, restaurants, bars and other entertainment settings.

Travel bands in areas that are most effective will be lifted between 23rd-27th December.

Will there be tiers before bubbles?

We’re expecting that tier rules will come back into force once the lockdown ends on 2nd December and they won’t be completely scrapped for the Christmas relaxing of rules. BOJO is set to announce which areas will fall into which tiers on Thursday 26th November.

In tier 1, the rule of six will apply.

In tier 2 people will only be allowed to go to the pub or out for dinner with people they already live with – not the whole Christmas bubble.

In Tier 3, pubs will be shut at Christmas anyway.

What about those in care homes?

Sadly, people aged over 65 in care homes will not be allowed home for Christmas under the new guidance. However, if they’re under 65 and have a negative COVID test, they will be allowed home for the festive season.

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