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COVID-19: Christmas and the festive period

COVID-19: Christmas and the festive period

Christmas and the festive period, Includes guidance on forming ‘bubbles’ over Christmas.

Christmas and the festive period bubbles: what you need to know

This guidance has been updated following a joint agreement on 16 December by the Scottish, Welsh and UK Governments on how to approach Christmas celebrations this year

The safest way to celebrate Christmas and the festive period this year is to celebrate with your own household in your own home – and as far as possible to keep any interaction with other households to a minimum. This is by far the safest way to spend this Christmas and keep your loved ones safe.

Christmas and the festive period bubbles can be formed between 23 and 27 December, to help reduce loneliness and isolation. You do not have to form a bubble if you do not want to – the safest way to spend Christmas is to stay in your own household, in your own home and your own local area

If you do decide to form a bubble this updated guidance asks you to:

  • Minimise the number of people in a Christmas bubble.  While 3 households is the legal maximum, our recommendation is that 2 would be better, and you should keep to a maximum of 8 people, age 12 and over – the smaller the bubble, the better and safer it will be
  • Minimise the time spent with your bubble, especially indoors. The 5 day period is a window of opportunity, not a recommended time. We recommend you do not meet up with people in your bubble on any more than one day over the period and do not stay overnight unless it is unavoidable. And you should minimise the distance you intend to travel
  • Avoid all travel between high prevalence and low prevalence areas – in particular, that means avoiding travel to or from Scotland and Tier 3 areas in England, and to or from any Level 4 areas in Scotland (of which there are currently none)
  • You should not go to a pub or restaurant or entertainment venue, for example a cinema or theatre, with your bubble
  • If you don’t form a bubble you must follow the rules in the local authority area you live in

Hogmanay and New Year: Christmas bubbles will not apply at Hogmanay and New Year.


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