Boris Johnson hints he will suspend ‘rule of six’ on Christmas so families can spend it together
BORIS Johnson has hinted he will suspend the Rule of Six on Christmas so families can spend it together.
The PM said this afternoon he would do “everything we can” to make sure grandparents don’t get left out or family lunches have to be split up by the coronavirus rule.
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When asked if he was saying “to families of five that they can’t have both grandparents around for Christmas”, Mr Johnson told ITV: “We’re not saying that at all.
He was pressed on the point and asked “so you’ll let them off the rules?”
Mr Johnson replied: “Listen to me, we’re doing everything we can, everything we can to make sure Christmas for everybody is as normal as possible.”
The Rule of Six currently makes many family Christmas lunches impossible to do without having to cut down on numbers.
When asked what the criteria for lifting restrictions was, Mr Johnson said: “The answer is that we have to get the R, the reproduction rate of the virus, below 1.
“The best way to get the R below 1… and I totally understand people feel things are inconsistent.
“If we can just follow that guidance… then we can get the R down… I ask people to stick with it if you possibly can.”
When the rules were announced, This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby revealed she was devastated she would have to pick between her parents if the rules were still in place.
But the festive season poses a real problem as families try and come together around the country, moving from areas with higher infection rates to see relatives.
There are worries over keeping elderly and vulnerable people safe as kids rush home to see their parents and grandparents.
And university students have had to cope with uncertainty over whether they will get home for Christmas at all after scores of clusters on campuses.
The PM said earlier this week plans were being put in place to make sure students could get home in time for Christmas.
He said: “I want to pay a particular tribute to the students who are experiencing a first term back at university unlike anything they could have imagined.”
Some of the ideas floated even include a 2-week isolation period for students coming back from campuses.
Last week, a Government insider told The Sun: “The PM is anxious to avoid being portrayed as Scrooge.
“He’s fully aware that millions of people are making big sacrifices to defeat this virus and is considering ways to allow them to experience the joy of Christmas for at last part of the holiday season.”
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham even hinted that there could be a period of greater restrictions in the run up to Christmas to save the special day.
He told Times Radio: “Maybe the Government would have to look at a period of even greater restrictions to set up a Christmas period for people.
“All of those things, I guess are in their minds at the moment.”
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