Three households will be allowed to mix between December 23 and 27, after ministers from the four UK nations finalised a “common framework” for all Britons at a Cobra emergency meeting this afternoon.
Michael Gove, who led the meeting, said the plans would offer “hope for families and friends” after a “difficult” year of Covid restrictions.
Meanwhile, London is waiting to find out which tier the city will be put into after lockdown. The Government is expected to face a furious backlash from MPs and business chiefs if the capital is hit with draconian Tier 3 restrictions next Wednesday.
In other developments, a new testing plan which will allow travellers to come out of quarantine if they secure a negative test after five days has been described as a “start” but not a solution, and the UK’s coronavirus death toll has jumped by 608 overnight, marking the biggest rise since early May.