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England’s eased Christmas rules remain but PM stresses ‘personal responsibility’

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The Prime Minister said it would be “inhumane to ban Christmas” as he confirmed the special relaxation of restrictions over Christmas will go ahead as planned.

Speaking at a Downing Street briefing, Boris Johnson said that while it is not right to criminalise those who have already made plans to spend time with loved ones over Christmas, the government is asking everyone to think about the days ahead to do more to protect individuals.

Johnson said: “We’re leaving the laws the same but the message is that a smaller Christmas is a safer Christmas and a shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas.

“The three households mixing over the five days…these are maximums, not targets to aim for.

“And we’re asking you in the five days before to reduce contact with others.

“Coronavirus spreads through human contact, so don’t travel from high to low prevalence areas and avoid staying overnight.

“The vaccine is on the way and our aim is to inoculate every vulnerable and elderly person by early next year.

“Whatever your plans for Christmas, please think carefully about avoiding boxing day sales and there are no big groups for New Years as rules in your local area will apply.”

The confirmation comes just hours after Wales’ first minister, Mark Drakeford confirmed a maximum of two households will be able to mix over the Christmas period before the country is plunged into its third lockdown as it enters the highest level of restrictions from 28 December.

In the first week since the roll-out of the vaccine, 138,000 people have received the jab.

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