There are a lot of mixed messages coming out of Downing Street, as one report claims that the whole of England will be banned from mixing with other households indoors ahead of Christmas Eve.
The Business Secretary, Alok Sharma has said on Wednesday that it is still too early to know if household will be allowed to mix over the festive period.
Speaking to Sky News, Sharma said, “Christmas is of course going to happen come what may. I would love to have members of my family round, but we just have to wait and see where we’re at.”
Whilst the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick insisted on Tuesday that the new regime would mark a “significant easing” of coronavirus measures.
However, earlier this week Dr Susan Hopkins, who is a government advisor hinted that England might be forced to toughen the tier system past 2 December.
But, a Cabinet minister said, “The PM and the government’s hope and very firm expectation is that we will see a significant easing of measures as we move into December.”
However, a Downing Street source told Sky News that, “no decisions have been made.”
According to The Sun newspaper, Ministers are considering allowing families to socialise indoors for five days, from Christmas Eve.
Jenrick was asked by the Times Radio if the government could ban indoor meetings over Christmas if cases are still too high.
He said, “We don’t know that yet. The hard yards that we’ve done in November were designed to enable most people in England to have a much more normal December so that we can go to the shops, we can use hospitality and, as far as possible, we can be together as families at Christmas.
“We can see from the data that the tiered approach in October and early November was having an impact, particularly in some parts of the country.
“It’s too early to say the true impact of the new national measures because there’s a lag time of two or three weeks, but hopefully by the end of November we’ll be in a position to take that judgment.”
However, the Prime Minister’s spokesman was asked over the change of restrictions in December, he said, “It’s our intention to bring the tougher national measures to an end on 2 December.
“That will happen in law and we will then move to a regionalised approach again.
“We will set that out to Parliament next week. In terms of the progress, which is being made, obviously we will wait to see further data over the course of the next week or so.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs on Tuesday that it is still “too early” to say what measures will be implemented after the second lockdown in England.
Hancock told MPs in the House of Commons, “Throughout the process of the tiered system, we’ve always looked at a level of granular detail whether that be district council-level or indeed at ward-level in some cases to make sure that we have the appropriate measures in the appropriate places.
“Whilst it’s too early to say exactly how we’ll proceed from 3 December, that’s a commitment that I can make.”
A Downing Street spokesman said: “We are looking at ending national restrictions on December 2 and moving to a tier system.
“There will be separate rules for Christmas, but no decision has been taken about those yet.”
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