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Tears for Tiers: Contact rules over Christmas 

On Saturday 19th December, the government announced a surprising adjustment to their Covid rules over the Christmas period. The previously promised 5 day relaxation of the rules had now changed. Those living in Tier 1 to 3 areas would be able to mix with a maximum of two other households on Christmas Day only, but those living in the newly created Tier 4, would not.  

So what are the rules for the 25th? 

In Tiers 1 – 3 

If you live in a Tier 1, 2 or 3 area, you can see a maximum of two other households on Christmas Day but must not stay overnight. The general guidance is to think carefully about the risks of mixing, discuss alternatives to meeting in person and only form a Christmas bubble if you feel it’s really necessary.  

You cannot mix with anyone in a Tier 4 area.  

Children younger than 18 whose parents do not live together can still be part of both parents’ bubbles if these are separate bubbles. Although this may be practically difficult if they live a significant distance apart, meaning children may not be able to spend time with the extended families/households of each of their parents over the Christmas period, given mixing is only permitted on the 25th.  

In Tier 4  

People cannot meet indoors on Christmas Day unless they live together or are part of an existing support bubble. Outdoors, individuals can only meet one other person from another household.  

Where children have separated parents who are living apart, they can continue to move between their parents’ homes. Although this only applies to children under 18. Over 18s cannot move between parents’ houses.  

Where university students have returned for the Christmas holidays, they are deemed to be part of the household to which they have returned.  

The Government has given further detailed guidance on Christmas bubbles, which can be found here: 

Post Author: Phoebe Smithdale