What can and can’t I do at Christmas according to new Covid restrictions?

Covid cases are on the rise as we head toward Christmas and a new set of restrictions are now in place in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus Omicron variant.

Alongside encouragement to get the vaccine and maintain protection against Covid by getting a booster jab, here’s a look at what Christmas might look like for us ahead of the holidays.

– Will I be able to see my friends and family at Christmas?

There are no rules in place in England or Wales to limit social interaction with friends and family, but in the run-up to Christmas we have been encouraged to meet outdoors if possible as this reduces the risk of catching or spreading Covid.

Those in Scotland have been asked to restrict social contact to two other households either side of Christmas, while those in Northern Ireland have been told indoor gatherings should have no more than 30 people present.

– Where am I required to wear a face covering over the holidays?

From December 10, face coverings have been required by law in most indoor settings and on public transport across the UK, unless you are exempt.

A mask or face shield is not legally required in hospitality settings such as cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs. This exemption also applies to gyms and nightclubs, as it is not recommended you wear a face covering while exercising or during “strenuous physical activity”.

You are not expected to wear a face covering while eating or drinking, but it is advised you wear one in “crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet”.

– Will I be able to host or attend Christmas parties?

While chief medical officer Professor Chris Witty urged people in England to prioritise social events “that really matter to them”, there are no laws in place prohibiting Christmas parties in England, Boris Johnson confirmed.

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