Are you allowed to be in more than one Christmas bubble?
The government has announced how families will be able to form a so-called ‘Christmas bubble’ which will allow them to see their relatives, for a limited period, over the festive season.
The temporary relaxation of the coronavirus rules mean that people can form an exclusive bubble between December 23 and 28, formed of no more than three households.
The Christmas bubble cannot be changed, but people are allowed to travel between tiers and UK nations to allow meeting with their families or friends within it.
And people are allowed to meet people who are not in their Christmas bubble outside of their home according to the rules in the area in which they are staying.
But there can only be one Christmas bubble formed by families or friends – multiple bubbles are banned.
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And the rules state that you cannot meet someone in a private house who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble.
The rules on forming and using a Christmas bubble will be enforceable by law. Anyone found flouting the rules risks fines starting at £200.
Under the rules, everyone is allowed to form one Christmas bubble. There are three main regulations:
- you can only be in one Christmas bubble
- you cannot change your Christmas bubble
- your Christmas bubble should not include people from more than three households
It is important that you keep your Christmas bubble as small as possible.
You must not form a Christmas bubble if you are self-isolating.
The government guidance adds: “A fixed bubble is a sensible and proportionate way to balance the desire to spend time with others over the Christmas period, while limiting the risk of spreading infection.
“However, the more people you see, the more likely it is that you will catch or spread coronavirus (Covid-19).
“You can spread coronavirus to others even if you and the people you meet have no symptoms.
“You and the other people in your Christmas bubble need to consider these risks carefully before agreeing to form a bubble.
“You should consider ways to celebrate Christmas in other ways, such as the use of technology and meeting outdoors, without bringing households together or travelling between different parts of the country.”
So, no you are not allowed to be in more than one Christmas bubble.
Existing support bubbles count as one household towards the three household limit.
This means that if you are in a support bubble, you can collectively form a Christmas bubble with two other households. This applies only to support bubbles as set out in law.
You should, however, consider the risks of doing so and keep your Christmas bubble as small as possible.
Everybody in a Christmas bubble is responsible for taking clear steps to prevent catching and spreading the virus.
The government advice states if “you do not follow these rules, you increase the risk of catching the virus, and spreading it to your friends and family.”
“You should take particular care to follow this advice if you are in a Christmas bubble with anybody who is vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable.”
People are being advised to limit social interactions for 14 days before forming a Christmas bubble with their families.