UK Government 'Considering' Christmas Household Mixing Window
The publication reports that health ministers are modelling the impact of groups of more than six meeting, with a view to relaxing measures between Thursday 24 December (Christmas Eve) and Monday 28 December.
However, households are only expected to be able to mix within a certain grouping.
It is believed the government will limit the relaxation to five days so as not to normalise mixing.
A spokesperson from Number 10 told The Sun: "We are looking at ways to ensure that people can spend time with close family over Christmas at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year."
Number 10 told LADbible options are still being explored and new proposals would be set out to parliament 'in due course'.
Of course, no plan has been signed off yet, with Christmas more than five weeks away, and data such as rates of coronavirus cases and deaths will shape policy.
Asked about the reports of a relaxation of social distancing rules over the festive period in a press briefing this morning (18 November), government scientific advisor Dr Susan Hopkins said 'we are very keen to have as normal a Christmas as possible', but added that 'the final decision will rest with the government'.
She also warned that each day of looser restrictions would likely require two days of tighter measures to bring coronavirus cases under control.
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Dame Angela McLean, chief scientific advisor for the MoD, added in the briefing: "We did send some advice in over the weekend [to the government] but we genuinely don't know what decisions have been made."
A Sage paper, entitled Positive Strategies For Sustaining Adherence To Infection Control Behaviours, has suggested a few more drastic means of preventing the spread of Covid-19, such as celebrating Christmas in summer.
As part of what it calls 'less risky' alternatives that the government could implement when announcing new restrictions, Sage suggests holding any key social events at a later date, 'e.g. planning a summer family get together to replace meeting at Christmas'.
The paper adds: "If people find it emotionally or practically impossible to avoid making contact with someone outside their household then they should be encouraged to make meeting that person as safe as possible.
"For example by self-quarantining before meeting (reducing contact with other people as far as possible for 14 days) and avoiding close and prolonged contact when meeting."
The paper also suggests a number of activities that could be permissible in lieu of large indoor gatherings.
It reads: "These include activities involving physical activity, social interaction, outdoor activity, creativity, and helping others.
"These activities will be especially important to allow when restriction of other activity is prolonged and extensive, unless there is evidence that they are not being carried out safely."
Merry tightly regulated Christmas one and all!
Featured Image Credit: PA
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