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The Prime Minister said: “By maintaining the pressure on the virus we can also enable people to see more of their family and friends over Christmas.
“I can’t say Christmas will be normal this year but in a period of adversity, time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and none.
“We all want some kind of Christmas. We need it, we certainly feel we deserve it.
“But what we don’t want is to throw caution to the winds and allow the virus to flare up again, forcing us all back into a national lockdown in January.
“So to allow families to come together, while minimising the risk, we are working with the devolved administrations on a special time limited Christmas dispensary, embracing the entire United Kingdom and reflecting the ties of kinship across our islands.”
However, he warned it is up to families to make a “careful judgement” on visiting elderly relatives.
Mr Johnson continued: “But this virus obviously is not going to grant a Christmas truce. It doesn’t know it’s Christmas.
“Families will need to make a careful judgement about visiting elderly relatives.”
Mr Johnson’s announcement comes just hours after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned there would only be a “slight” easing of restrictions over the festive period.
Speaking at her daily media briefing, the First Minister said: “We’ll ask people to think very carefully about if you really need to travel and visit indoors, or if there might be other ways, for example by technology, or by meeting people outside, in which you can ensure your loved ones are well without taking risks.
“It’s maybe worth everybody asking themselves now – do we need to visit family or friends over Christmas?
“Because if we feel we don’t have to then delaying a visit till the spring, especially if that visit involves travel, might be the better option.
“And it may leave more space for those who really do need to care for a vulnerable elderly relative for example to do so.
“I know this sounds very complicated – and it is very complicated. I could stand here and try to oversimplify it but that wouldn’t be fair to anybody.”
This is a breaking story… More to follow.
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