BRITS hit by travel disruption could still see family in their Christmas bubbles after December 27, a loophole has revealed.
Groups of up to three households affected by “unforeseen disruption to travel” can take advantage of the rule, government guidance published today shows.
Brits in their Christmas bubble could see the five-day meet-up period extended if one person is delayedCredit: Alamy
If a relative is delayed by traffic it could see the Christmas bubble period extended, government guidance suggestsCredit: AFP – Getty
The regulations suggest the five-day Christmas bubble could be extended by at least a day if a relative’s train is delayed, or their car breaks down.
Only one person from the bubble has to be delayed for the relaxation of restrictions on Christmas gatherings to apply to everyone.
The regulation says: ‘This sub-paragraph applies where one or more persons at the gathering has not been able to return to their home because of unforeseen disruption to travel.”
Any extension could take place “immediately after the Christmas period”.
The new guidance was unveiled as the country prepares to exit Covid lockdown on Wednesday.
Social distancing and travel rules will then be scrapped for Christmas bubbles from December 23 to 27.
Students can also return home from Thursday, before going back to schools and universities before February 8.
No household mixing is allowed inside Tier 2 pubs or restaurants, but up to six punters can meet outside.
Boozers must serve “substantial meals” to open their doors.
Pubs in Tier 3 are closed except for takeaway drinks.
New Tier rules will be introduced on Wednesday
About 16 million people in Tier 3 areas are expected to be downgraded to Tier 2 at the first review in just over two weeks time.
Loopholes in the rules mean Tier 2 drinkers can still enjoy a tipple without food at a cinema, football match or hotel.
The newly published Tiers laws say the substantial meal clause “does not apply where alcohol is being provided to a customer at a cinema, theatre, concert hall or sportsground.”
Under the new rules, 4,000 fans are allowed to watch sport in outdoor venues in Tier 1, while 2,000 fans are allowed in Tier 2 areas, or up to 50 per cent capacity – whichever is lower.
And theatres and cinemas can seat up to 1000 people indoors or again up to half the venues seating limit.
England’s lockdown ends this weekCredit: PA:Press Association
Venues in Tier 3 will have to remain closed.
MPs will vote on the government’s new Tier rules tomorrow, with Labour announcing tonight they will abstain, meaning it is almost certain to pass a Commons vote.
Deaths rose today by 205, with the overall toll now 58,450.
In a letter to MPs, Boris Johnson said the Tier system is set to be reviewed on December 16.
Boris Johnson has said the system would contain a “sunset clause” – or expiry date – of February 3, with MPs given the chance to vote on whether to extend them beyond that date.
He also hinted that on December 16, some Tier 3 areas could be downgraded to Tier 2 allowing people to go to pubs and restaurants indoors with their family bubbles.
“Where evidence shows the disease is in sustained decline, areas will be moved down,” he said.
Meanwhile, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced on Monday that pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes in Wales must now CLOSE daily at 6pm – and booze will be banned.
Mr Drakeford warned the facts are “stark” as he announced tough new curbs just weeks after the firebreak lockdown ended.
From 6pm on Friday draconian new national measures will come into force in Wales, slapping tough curfews and booze bans on the hospitality sector.