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Boris Johnson Reviewing Christmas Bubble Rules After Third Wave Warnings

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Boris Johnson is said to be reviewing the relaxed coronavirus restrictions that have been put in place over Christmas.

An official spokesperson for the prime minister said it would be keeping its guidance ‘under review’, however they refused to confirm or deny whether they would be reducing the number of days the relaxed restrictions would be in place.

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As it stands, all areas of the UK, regardless of which tier they are in, will be allowed to mix with up to three households between December 23 and 28.

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However, there have been rumours the government could reduce the number of days of relaxed restrictions from five to three, or cut the number of households allowed to mix in a so-called ‘Christmas bubble’ from three to two.

‘As we always have done during the pandemic, we keep guidance under constant review,’ the spokesperson said, as per the Independent. ‘But our intention to allow families and friend to meet up during the Christmas period remains.’

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It comes after a new report from both the British Medical Journal and Health Service Journal claimed that the mixing of households will lead to almost 19,000 new cases of COVID-19 in NHS facilities by New Year’s Eve.

Boris Johnson Reviewing Christmas Bubble Rules After Third Wave WarningsPA Images

The report goes on to say that the relaxed rules could also severely impact non-COVID-related treatments, adding that the reductions in waiting times that have been achieved over the past two decades could be wiped out entirely.

‘We are publishing it because we believe the government is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives. If our political leaders fail to take swift and decisive action, they can no longer claim to be protecting the NHS,’ the report states.

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Yesterday, December 14, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire would be moving into tier 3 after case numbers began to rise. However, he added that ‘further action’ could be needed if cases continue to increase in the build-up to Christmas.

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This means that 61% of people in England will be under the tightest lockdown restrictions, as almost 10 million more people are placed into tier 3.

The government will continue to review the restrictions in place, based on the numbers of new cases being reported in the different parts of the UK.

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Topics: News, Boris Johnson, Christmas, Coronavirus, matt hancock, NHS, Now

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Independent
  1. Independent

    Coronavirus: Christmas mixing guidance ‘under review’, No 10 admits

Emma Rosemurgey
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