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UK citizens urged not to leave Covid hotspots this Christmas as situation 'worse than expected'

'We're asking you to think hard and in detail about the days ahead'

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked UK citizens to consider delaying visits to elderly relatives until they were vaccinated. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked UK citizens to consider delaying visits to elderly relatives until they were vaccinated. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked UK citizens to consider delaying visits to elderly relatives until they were vaccinated. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Boris Johnson has advised people to minimise contacts before seeing loved ones at Christmas, and to avoid travelling from high prevalence areas to ones that are not so badly affected.

The UK Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference: "We’ve decided that the overall situation is alas worse, more challenging than we hoped when we first set the rules.

"While it would not be right to criminalise people who made plans and simply want to spend time with their loved ones, we’re collectively, across the UK, governments at every level, asking you to think hard and in detail about the days ahead."

Johnson insisted the laws would remain the same but said "a smaller Christmas is going to be a safer Christmas and a shorter Christmas is a safer Christmas.

“When we say three households can meet on five days I want to stress these are maximums and not targets to aim for.

“It’s always going to be safest to minimise the number of people you meet. That means if you are visiting others over Christmas we’re asking you in the five days beforehand, as early as this Friday, to reduce the number of people you are in contact with to the lowest possible.

“If possible don’t travel from a high prevalence to a lower prevalence area and avoid staying away from home overnight if you can.”

The Prime Minister said people should avoid crowds.

Mr Johnson said: “And whatever your plans for Christmas, please think carefully about avoiding crowds in the Boxing Day sales.

“And no one should be gathering in large groups to see in the New Year.”

He added: “If you have an elderly relative you might want to delay seeing them until they have been vaccinated.”

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Mr Johnson said: “So, have yourselves a merry little Christmas – and, I’m afraid this year I do mean little.

“But with the vaccine, and all the other measures we are taking, we do know that things will be better in this country by Easter.

“And, I’m sure that next year Christmas will be as normal as usual for every family in the country.”


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