Coronovirus restrictions in the UK will be relaxed over Christmas so that three households can meet indoors.
The homes will be able to meet in “Christmas bubble” homes, places of worship and outdoor venues between 23–27 December, leaders of four UK countries agreed on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to balance demands to grow the economy and allow people more freedom with the need to keep the coronovirus before the potential vaccine is rolled out. England has been under a four-week lockdown to be replaced with a regional three-tier system of sanctions that is scheduled to expire on 2 December.
Other European leaders are waging their own battle: French President Emmanuel Macron will gradually hold a nationwide lockout from Saturday after criticism from shopkeepers, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes to extend the country’s partial lockdown to Kovid-19 cases.
UK ministers will announce on Thursday which areas of England will be placed at each level. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is lobbying the government to put the city in Tier 2, which will keep pubs, bars and restaurants open.
Under the new Christmas plans, people will be able to travel between the arrows and the whole of Britain, as long as they only meet those in the “exclusive” bubble of three houses. Those coming to and from Northern Ireland will be allowed one additional day to travel on either side of the five-day period.
The move was agreed after days of negotiations between Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gov and leaders in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In a joint statement, he said: “Even where it is within the rules, meeting with friends and family over Christmas will be a personal decision for individuals to take personal risks, for themselves and others, special For those who are weak. “
In a video message on Twitter, Johnson urged people not to “throw caution to the wind”, saying: “The virus doesn’t know it’s Christmas, and we all should be careful.”
But doctors at the British Medical Association immediately voiced concern. In an emailed statement, BMA Council President Chand Nagpal said the move would “definitely increase the infection rate and possibly bear the risk of more hospitalizations and deaths.”
As virus outbreaks continue throughout Europe, leaders are battling to reduce infection rates while preserving their economies. In France, smaller stores will be allowed to open from 28 November, but restaurants will remain closed until at least 20 January, which would deprive the region of income at one of the busiest times of the year.
Meanwhile, Germany is moving toward expansion and more stringent expansion of its partial lockdown, with Chancellor Merkel expected to agree with the regional state premier on the closure of restaurants, gyms and theaters by at least 20 December.
Many UK lawmakers have expressed concern about Johnson’s new tougher regional sanctions, which will come into force next week. Some have publicly aired their protests in London to move to Tier 3, warning that they will give tough competition to businesses already struggling.
Health Minister Nadine Doris spoke to London MPs on a video call on Tuesday to hear their views before a decision on the classification of regions, two people familiar with the matter said.
Khan said in a statement on Tuesday that placing London in Tier 2 – where it was before the lockdown – would be a “right and prudent decision”, noting that the cases were lower than in other parts of the country.
“London’s unique ecosystem of bars, restaurants, clubs and cultural venues has been through an extremely difficult year,” he said. “If they had to shut down during the Christmas period and beyond Tier 3, it would be a hammer blow that many cannot overcome.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday that no decision had been made yet. “London is necessary and appropriate based on public health evidence that will come out on the tier,” he told MPs.
STAY TUNED WITH US FOR MORE INTERESTING CONTENT ONLY ON DESINEW.XYZ