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Calls for UK consensus around Covid-19 Christmas rules

Environment Secretary George Eustice has said that COVID-19 restrictions and rules around Christmas are still unknown and warned that people "may not be able to get together in the larger groups that they normally would."

Environment Secretary George Eustice has said that COVID-19 restrictions and rules around Christmas are still unknown and warned that people "may not be able to get together in the larger groups that they normally would."

Eustice did, however, add that “We want people to have a Christmas that is as close to normal as possible.”

"There will undoubtedly be frustrations about the restrictions but people also understand we have to control the spread of the virus."

Several political parties have urged leaders across the UK to implement nationwide rules for this Christmas, to avoid some areas being able to celebrate and some not. 

The English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish governments have all implemented different rules in their respective countries. As people move between these nations during the holidays, the rules may become confusing, which is why there is a strong push to create rules that are consistent across the whole of the UK. 

A letter was signed by members of the UK’s Liberal Democrat parties, namely, Sir Ed Davey, Willie Rennie and Jane Dodds, as well as by Alliance Party deputy leader Stephen Farry. The letter asked current national leaders to "accept the inevitability" that there will be travel over Christmas, be it locally or between nations. 

A statement in the letter also reads: "It therefore falls on you and your counterparts to work across governments to explore workable solutions that can enable travel to happen safely."

Sir Ed Davey told the BBC that "millions of people normally travel across the UK to see their families and they need clear guidance - they are trying to plan Christmas now."

A response from Downing Street to the letter said: "The PM has been clear of his ambition to ensure that people may celebrate Christmas as a family this year.

"That's why we have introduced a range of measures in order to control the spread of the virus, reduce the R rate and save lives."

Many concerns are growing surrounding what the restrictions will be like around Christmas time. Victoria Derbyshire had to publicly apologise after stating that she would break the “rule of six” to get to see her family over Christmas. 

Ian Murray, Labour's Shadow Scotland Secretary, told the BBC that the UK and Scottish governments should work together to initiate an "an urgent plan... to ensure a co-ordinated approach across the entire UK this Christmas".

Zara Tunnicliffe

Zara Tunnicliffe

Writing has allowed Zara to learn about topics and explore further those that interest her. Zara creates a range promotional copy for events as well as content for a variety of websites and social media platforms. Zara always look forward to researching interesting topics and sharing them with others through her writing.