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COVID-19 Update Christmas Bubbles

The Government has just released guidance on the rules that have been agreed between the four home nations on the rules and restrictions regarding friends and families meeting up over the Xmas period

  • Xmas Bubble Guidance

Between 23 and 27 December:

  • you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
  • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces (ie., not in pubs and restaurants0
  • you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying
  • you cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble

Everyone is allowed to form a Christmas bubble. There are three main rules:

  • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • your Christmas bubble should not include people from more than three households

People in a Xmas Christmas bubble are allowed to stay in private rented accommodation but are not allowed to meet in any other indoor setting, such as a pub, hotel, retail, theatre, or restaurant. In these settings, people have to comply with the rules that apply to the Tier in which they are meeting.

But Xmas bubbles are able to meet outdoors in public places such as:

  • parks, beaches, parts of the countryside open to the general public
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • allotments
  • playgrounds

It should be noted that this is a slight difference in dates for Northern Ireland – anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December, but should only meet with their Christmas bubble between 23 and 27 December.
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