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16 Dec, 2020 15:12

Scotland’s Sturgeon says safest way to spend Christmas is not to mix households, as UK leaders diverge over Covid guidance

Scotland’s Sturgeon says safest way to spend Christmas is not to mix households, as UK leaders diverge over Covid guidance

England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have “unanimously” agreed to keep relaxed Christmas Covid-19 rules in place, the PM said, but Edinburgh and Cardiff have upped their own guidance, advising against household mixing.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford have both strengthened their guidance for the festive period, amid fears that increased household mixing could cause a Covid-19 resurgence. 

Under plans agreed by all four administrations, up to three UK households will be allowed to mix from December 23 to 27.

Speaking on Wednesday, Sturgeon told reporters that Scots should think carefully about their plans during the five days of relaxed restrictions, saying: “Unequivocally, the safest way to spend Christmas this year is within your own household and within your own home.”

Also on rt.com Wear face masks at Christmas family gatherings, WHO tells Europeans amid fears of a Covid third wave

She added that those living in parts of the UK where coronavirus levels are markedly higher should not be travelling around the country. 

A similar message was espoused by Drakeford, who said Wales was facing a "very serious situation" with one in five people testing positive for the virus. 

New rules in Wales state that only two households should come together to form an exclusive Christmas bubble during the five-day period, but one person living alone can also join this arrangement. 

Drakeford warned that a full lockdown would follow the Christmas break, as Covid-19 infections soar in the country. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales had "unanimously" agreed that the relaxation of rules would not be scrapped, but called on Britons to show “personal responsibility.” 

Also on rt.com ‘Easter can be the new Christmas’: Minister warns Britons to ‘think carefully’ about festive plans amid Covid spike

Speaking earlier on Wednesday, UK Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick asked people to “think carefully” about their plans over the festive period, even suggesting people put off their celebrations for a few months. “Easter can be the new Christmas,” he said. 

On Tuesday, two British medical journals came together to call on the government to abandon plans to allow household mixing.

“We believe the government is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives,” the medical experts warned.

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