christmas 2020
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Christmas 2020: Government will allow families to meet but 25-day lockdown could follow

Experts warn we'll be 'burying relations' in January

Christmas 2020 will see families meet up indoors over five festive days, it has been reported.

Ministers have said they “don’t want to be grinches” and ruin Christmas for millions of Brits.

However, the five-day reprieve would doubtless come with a 25-day lockdown in January.

And scientists are warning a normal Christmas would “throw fuel on the COVID fire”.

Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street
Boris Johnson is keen to allow families to meet up over Christmas 2020 (Credit: Splash News)

What has Boris Johnson said about Christmas 2020?

The Prime Minister has spoke of his “desire to try and allow loved ones to have Christmas together”.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace, meanwhile, said the aim was to “protect lives” while not becoming the “Grinch who stole Christmas”.

Read more: Half of Brits admit Christmas in lockdown could be a good thing

It’s thought that Brits would be able to meet extended family indoors for five days from Christmas Eve to December 28.

It’s said up to four households could form a bubble for five days of “freedom” over the festive period.

family having Christmas dinner and drinks
Four households could be allowed to meet over a five-day period under the new plans (Credit: Unsplash)

What would happen after the five days?

However, Public Health England have warned that for every day that the restrictions are eased, five days of tougher restrictions would be needed.

This would lead to a 25-day lockdown that encompasses New Year’s Eve.

Ministers will announce a new set of restrictions next week, detailing what’ll happen when England comes out of lockdown on December 2.

Read more: Brits divided over launch of M&S festive face masks

Scientists want the three tier system to be strengthened in the run up to Christmas.

Boris, meanwhile, appears intent on relaxing the rules for families to meet “at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year”.

family making a gingerbread house
Experts have warned it could add ‘fuel to the COVID fire’, though (Credit: Unsplash)

Experts issue warning

However, University College London’s Professor Andrew Hayward has said it would be “tragic” to try and return to “normality” over the Christmas holidays.

There’s no point in having a very merry Christmas and then burying friends and relations in January and February.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “My personal view is we’re putting far too much emphasis on having a near normal Christmas.

“We know respiratory infections peak in January, so throwing fuel on the fire over Christmas can only contribute to this.”

Professor of public health at Bristol University Gabriel Scally agreed.

He warned there was “no point in having a very merry Christmas and then burying friends and relations in January and February”.

“We need to think very seriously about Christmas and how we’re going to spend it. It’s too dangerous a time and opportunity for the virus to spread,” he added.

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