Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hinted that the “rule of six” could be suspended to allow families to spend time together if we can get the R number below 1.
He said that the government are doing “everything we can” to ensure Christmas is a “normal as possible.”
Speaking to ITV Johnson was asked, is he saying that a family of five “cannot” have both grandparents’ overs for Christmas.
Johnson replied, “We’re not saying that at all.”
When asked if the will be let “of the rules,” the Prime Minister said, “Listen to me, we’re doing everything we can, everything we can to make sure Christmas for everybody is as normal as possible.”
He was then asked if the country will be allowed to have more than six for Christmas dinner, Johnson replied, “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.”
The R rate measures the speed at which the virus reproduces, and across the UK it has risen between 1.3 and 1.6, last week the transmission rate was between 1.2 and 1.5.
Johnson has also blamed Brits for being “blasé about transmission” which is now “exponentially” growing.
“The rules on social distancing weren’t perhaps obeyed in the way they could have been, or enforced in the way they could have been, and that’s why we’ve had to put in measures both in Scotland and elsewhere to bring it down again.”
Adding, “I’m afraid some of the muscle memory has faded and people are not following the guidance in the way that they should.”