LOCKDOWN rules will be eased over Christmas to let people see their families over the festive season.
People will also be allowed to go on overseas holidays over the Christmas period – but they will be advised against it.
From December 23 to December 27 people will be able to join a “Christmas bubble” with three other households.
But these bubbles are only allowed to meet at home, in places of worship and outdoors.
They will not be allowed to go on holiday together.
It is currently illegal to leave the UK to go on holiday and people can only travel for work, school or other “essential” reasons.
This restriction will be lifted on December 2 when lockdown ends, but people will still be advised against international travel.
Local travel rules which mean people in areas with higher rates of coronavirus cannot travel to lower-risk areas will be lifted over the Christmas break across the UK.
And people heading to Northern Ireland will get an extra day either side of the Christmas period, meaning restrictions will be loosened from December 22 to December 28 to allow for people to get there and back.
And people will not be allowed to travel domestically with their bubbles either to stay in a hotel – as meeting up in hospitality venues with multiple households is banned.
It comes after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that from December 15, the quarantine time on returning travellers will be cut to 5 days – down from two weeks.
But people can only leave after five days if they pay for a private coronavirus test and receive a negative result.
Speaking on the change to the quarantine policy, Mr Shapps said: “We’re cutting the self-isolation period by two thirds from 15 DECEMBER for passengers arriving into England.
“Taking a privately provided Covid test on day five & receiving a negative result will end self-isolation.
“Our new testing strategy will allow us to travel more freely to see loved ones again and to drive international business.
“The introduction of this programme has only been made possible with the evolution of the science and understanding of this virus.
“We’ve taken the time to put the right system in place, ensuring we keep the British public safe.”