Boris Johnson is considering lifting the ban on gatherings over 6 people for 24 hours on Christmas Day to allow the nation to get into the festive spirit, it has been reported.
The PM is considering lifting spirits for just one day over the festive period, after it was understood government advisors were planning for the rule to be in place for at least three months.
An insider told the Sun on Sunday: “The PM is anxious to avoid being portrayed as Scrooge.
“He’s fully aware that millions of people are making big sacrifices to defeat this virus and is wondering ways to allow them to experience the joy of Christmas for at least part of the holiday season."
The Prime Minister had previously mentioned at a Downing Street news conference that “it was too early to say” whether the rule would affect Christmas gatherings.
He said he was “hopeful” the new rule would help get the current spike in cases down, and followed by admitting the new rules had become “complicated and confusing”.
England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said the restrictions on gatherings would be in place for “a block of time”, but Whitehall sources told Sky News it will likely be three months or more before the measure is eased.
The new rule came into effect on Monday after weeks of relaxed rules saw a rise in cases, particularly among young adults.
The Government’s chief scientific adviser, warned the number of cases would inevitably rise as winter approaches and the virus becomes more virulent.
Figures released by the Government Sage committee on Friday revealed the R rate across the UK is currently between 1.1 and 1.4, which means the number of cases could be doubling every seven to eight days.
Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England warned that hospital admissions for Covid-19 among older people could be “a warning of far worst to come.”
She said: “We’re seeing clear signs this virus is now spreading widely across al age groups - and I'm particularly worried by the increase in rates of admission to hospital and intensive care among older people.
“We must all play our part in controlling the virus by continuing to wash our hands, wear face coverings and follow social distancing rules.”