UK Government claim Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have agreed to Christmas Covid plans

Table laid for Christmas dinner. Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash

The UK Government have claimed that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have struck an agreement with them for a join Covid-19 plan over Christmas.

The “shared objective” will allow a “limited additional household bubbling” over a “small number of days” during the Christmas period.

However, the Welsh Government suggested that discussions were still ongoing. Health Minister Vaughan Gething said earlier that all four UK governments were due to continue talks later this week.

Speaking to BBC Politics Wales, Mr Gething said Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford “had another constructive conversation” with UK Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and other first ministers on Saturday.

Asked if an announcement could be made this week, he said: “We have a cabinet coming up this week. We’ll want to consider the conversations and how far they’ve got over the weekend.

“We’ll also want to consider the advice of our chief medical officer about the potential proposals for Christmas and to understand what that might mean in terms of the future health of the population but also the capacity of our National Health Service to help treat people and to keep them alive.”

 

‘Cautious’

Families will have to choose their bubble in advance and will be allowed to spend time indoors with them – including at the pub, according to the UK Government.

They emphasised however that people will be “advised to remain cautious” and “minimise social contact”.

The full statement from the Cabinet Office says: “Ministers reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real.

“As such, Ministers endorsed a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days, but also emphasised that the public will be advised to remain cautious, and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact.”

They added: “In respect of Northern Ireland, Ministers also recognised that people will want to see family and friends across the island of Ireland, and this is the subject of discussions with the Irish Government.”

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