Although the laws will mean families can still meet up for Christmas, they now face a confusing string of guidance which is different in every single part of the UK.
WALES: Only two households should form a bubble over Christmas. Shops, pubs and other venues will shut ahead of a full ‘Stay at Home’ lockdown from December 28.
SCOTLAND: People should meet up in small bubbles for just one day over Christmas, and no overnight stays. People should keep windows open and not share dishes if they can. If people have not made plans, they should stay at home. People shouldn’t travel to areas where there are fewer cases of the virus. Limit of 8 people in bubbles – but under 12s don’t count.
ENGLAND: Not yet clear. Boris has so far today urged people to be cautious at Christmas. He will give a press conference this afternoon.
NORTHERN IRELAND: Not yet clear. Medics and politicians to hold further talks.
It came just minutes after Boris Johnson claimed there had been a UK-wide agreement to keep the laws as they are so people can still meet up this Christmas.
But he warned Brits to “exercise extreme caution” in seeing friends and family – and is expected to issue fresh tighter guidance this afternoon at a press conference to the nation.
Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon announced they will introduce tighter guidance in their countries to try and cut down on Covid spread – but this won’t be legally enforceable.
People will be allowed to meet up in bubbles of two in Wales, but three in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
And people will be told just to meet for ONE day in Scotland, with up to five allowed in the other three countries.
It means people won’t be fined for breaking the new updated guidance, which will be slightly different in all the four corners of the UK.
Downing Street said this lunchtime: “The Prime Minister was referring to the fact that all four nations have agreed there will be no chances to the laws around Christmas bubbles.
“They will update their guidance, which is a matter for them.
“The PM will be speaking at the press conference later.”
Mr Jenrick today refused to say how many Brits should meet up for Christmas – and stressed it was down to a personal choice.
He told Good Morning Britain: “You need to think where you live and come to an informed judgment. These conversations are happening up and down the country.
“You need to trust people to use their own judgment to think about their own circumstances.”
He warned that in America, Thanksgiving had led to a rise in cases, but the UK had tighter rules here.
“We are taking decisive action and the legal restrictions we’re taking are stronger than the US.
“Myself and other members of the government are issuing a sombre warning and guidance to think carefully how you want to treat Christmas in your households.
“There are risks in bringing people together with a virus which thrives on social interaction.”
His own 80-year-old parents have decided not to see him and his family for Christmas this year, he added.