Gyms and non-essential shops are expected to reopen when the second national lockdown ends on December 2, according to reports.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce his covid winter plan on Monday, which will see a tougher three-tiered system of local restrictions come into force in England to keep the virus under control.
The plan will include details on how families can spend time together this Christmas, after the Cabinet Office confirmed that “some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days” will be allowed over the festive period.
Downing Street has said the new rules are expected to come into force when the national lockdown ends on December 2.
Here’s what we can expect from the tougher tiered restrictions.
Boris Johnson will outline a “framework” for the new rules on Monday which are said to be tougher than the old tiered system.
According to multiple reports gyms and non-essential retail are expected to reopen across all tiers, which will be welcome news for people hoping to do their Christmas shopping.
The current 10pm curfew for pubs, restaurants and bars could be scrapped to allow people an extra hour to finish their food and drinks.
The Prime Minister is expected to say that while last orders must be called at 10pm, people can stay in the pub or restaurant until 11pm.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed to The Andrew Marr Show this morning that plans to change the curfew period for pubs and restaurants is “definitely something we’re looking at”.
Under new system in Tier 3 areas, pubs and restaurants will reportedly be open for takeaway only, while in parts of the country that fall under Tier 2 they will be able to serve meals.
Church services and gyms are expected to reopen under all tiers but households mixing indoors will still be banned in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas.
Outdoor sports are also expected to be permitted again.
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Reports suggest that the rule of six will apply in parts of the country that fall under the new Tier 1.
According to the Cabinet Office, ministers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have agreed to allow “some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days” over Christmas.
Families will have to choose their bubble in advance and will be allowed to spend time indoors with them – including at the pub, according to reports.
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The full statement from the Cabinet Office says: “Ministers reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real.
“As such, Ministers endorsed a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days, but also emphasised that the public will be advised to remain cautious, and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact.”
They added: “In respect of Northern Ireland, Ministers also recognised that people will want to see family and friends across the island of Ireland, and this is the subject of discussions with the Irish Government.”
Reports suggest three, or possibly four, households could be allowed to meet but that is yet to be confirmed.