England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland aim to ease COVID rules for Christmas

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LONDON (Reuters) – The British government said on Sunday it was working with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ease COVID-19 restrictions over Christmas to allow families to get together.

Cabinet Minister Michael Gove discussed the issue with the first ministers of the devolved administrations on Saturday, the government said, and they agreed it was important for families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising it would not be a normal festive period.

“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”, it said.

Finance Minster Rishi Sunak earlier said on Sunday that Britons would not be able to enjoy a normal Christmas this year, but the government was looking at ways to enable families to get together.

“Frustrating as it is for all of us, Christmas is not going to be normal this year,” he told Sky’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday.

“But that said, the prime minister is, for example, looking at ways to see how families can spend time with each other.”

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