Christmas could be saved as Government considers lifting 'rule of six' over festive period
CHRISTMAS could be rescued as the Government is reportedly considering lifting the "rule of six" restriction on social mixing over the festive period.
If given green light, the party-pooping Covid-19 rule will temporarily be relaxed to allow 12 people to gather during Christmas Eve and Day.
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If the plan, reportedly backed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, goes ahead, two sets of grandparents and parents, three kids and an aunt or uncle could meet without breaking the law.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma is understood to be the leading Cabinet minister to champion the plan, reports the Mail on Sunday.
But this all assumes Covid infection rates would be broadly kept under control by mid-December.
Mr Sharma is one of the ministerial "hawks", who believe No 10 should put a greater emphasis on safeguarding the economy when considering Covid-19 rules, alongside Sunak, Home Secretary Priti Patel and International Trade Secretary Liz Truss.
A source told the Mail: "Alok thinks people will need something to look forward to after the next couple of difficult months, and doubling the rule for a couple of days allows that with only a limited extra infection risk attached.
"It hasn't been formally considered by the Treasury yet as a proposal, but it is in line with Rishi's world view."
The temporary lifting on Christmas Eve and Day is regarded as better than the alternative plan.
This would be for families to isolate for a fortnight before Christmas to allow them to gather on the day.
Meanwhile Health Secretary Matt Hancock leads the economy "doves".
This faction reportedly fears even a two-day relaxation of the rule risks creating a mid-winter increase in severe Covid-19 cases when hospitals are usually under the greatest strain.
Boris Johnson has promised that the Government would do "everything we can to make sure Christmas for everybody is as normal as possible".
The Prime Minister has recently urged the public to "save Christmas" by working together to fight the spread of coronavirus.
Yesterday coronavirus death toll in the UK rose by 81 — with 15,166 new cases being reported as tougher lockdown looms for the North of England.
Cases have nearly tripled in two weeks — with a total of 590, 844 people now having tested positive for the killer bug in Britain.
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