Confirmed: Three households can form Christmas bubble to spend festive period together

Picture: monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Families will be able to spend Christmas together if they follow the "bubble" guidance. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Families and loved-ones will be able to form “Christmas bubbles” to allow them to reunite over the festive period, the government has announced.


On Tuesday, it was agreed that between December 23 and 27 a maximum of three households will be able to form a bubble together and celebrate the Christmas period together.


The news comes following a collective agreement between Westminster and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


A joint statement from the four said: “As 2020 draws to a close, we recognise it has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.


“We have all had to make significant sacrifices in our everyday lives and many religious and community groups have already had to change or forgo their customary celebrations to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives.


“This cannot be a ‘normal’ Christmas. But as we approach the festive period we have been working closely together to find a way for family and friends to see each other, even if it is for a short time and recognising that it must be both limited and cautious.”


Under the temporary relaxed restrictions, Christmas bubbles are allowed to gather either at home, at a place of worship, or in outdoor public places.


However, restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout this period.
And people aged over 65 in care homes will not be able to join their families for Christmas under the new guidance.


Shared households in England - such as friends sharing a flat - would be able to split up to join another household for the five-day period.


But in families where three children live away from home, they would not all be able to return for Christmas.


However, university students returning from halls at the end of term would automatically rejoin their family household and therefore not be included as a separate household.


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