Boris Johnson to give press conference this afternoon on new Christmas rules

BORIS Johnson will address the nation this afternoon to lay out the new rules on Christmas.

The PM will hold a press conference from Downing Street at 3.30 pm as panic has set in over whether people will be able to see their families over the holidays – and Scotland and Wales changed their rules.

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He will appear alongside Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty.

The PM is ready to beef up warnings about being vigilant this Christmas in an effort to avoid scrapping the break in Covid restrictions.

Mr Johnson told MPs this lunchtime: "As of today there is unanimous agreement across all of the UK Governments, across all devolved administrations, that we should proceed in principle with existing regulations because we don't want to criminalise peoples' long made plans."

And he told Brits to "exercise a high degree of personal responsibility" and even avoid elderly relatives "wherever possible".

The PM added: "We should exercise extreme caution in the way we celebrate Christmas, we can celebrate it sensibly but have to be extremely sensible in the way we behave."

Despite Mr Johnson's claims there was "unanimous" agreement across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Welsh First Minister went off script and reduced the number of people able to form a Christmas bubble.

Only two households will be able to join together over the holidays, and the whole country will be forced into a full Level 4 lockdown from December 28 to curb a Christmas surge in cases.

And Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told people they should only see people in their Christmas bubble for a maximum of one day.

And there should be no overnight stays, unless it is unavoidable.

Tough new guidance tells people not to travel from high-risk areas to low-risk areas in Scotland, as well.

Boris will outline more for England later today, it's expected.

It comes as:

  • Brits are set to be told not to travel across the UK until it's "absolutely necessary"
  • London was plunged into Tier 3 today, despite just 9 deaths in the capital on Sunday
  • People were told to make Easter the new Christmas to prevent Covid spreading over the holidays

Talks led by Michael Gove with the home nations ended in deadlock on whether to keep Christmas “bubbles” allowing three households to mix.

Sources close to the talks said nothing firm was agreed, with decisions expected today and Ms Sturgeon said today discussions were ongoing.

It is understood the UK Government is not keen on changing the Christmas rules in law, but is considering how best to strengthen the message and urge people not to travel unless they really have to.

Mr Johnson is set to urge families to isolate before joining their Christmas bubble too.

And the Government is expected also to warn against visiting elderly relatives.

They will alter their messaging by telling people to be careful, and stressing the decision will be a personal one for every family.

The change in message comes as London, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire went into Tier 3 today – forcing all restaurants, cafes and bars to close and do takeaway only.


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