There will be a temporary easing of coronavirus rules over Christmas, allowing three households to mix in a bubble for five days.
Given that a highly infectious and often fatal disease continues to circulate within the population, at a time when the NHS is historically stretched to breaking point anyway, many have been left questioning the wisdom of this decision.
The prospect of potentially infecting vulnerable relatives has seen some people opt not to reunite with family at all, preferring to stay as safe as possible until the coronavirus vaccine rollout begins.
With the controversy around relaxing lockdown at such a key time, the prime minister himself has been surprisingly reluctant to lead by example – staying tight-lipped about whether he will form a Christmas bubble with his own family.
The same question was put to his cabinet, and the responses were not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Johnson has told families they must make a “personal judgement” about the risks of coronavirus to vulnerable loved ones when forming a Christmas bubble.
The prime minister urged the public to “think carefully” over the festive period. So what will he be doing?
Asked whether Johnson planned to see any elderly relatives over the festive period, and whether he agreed with Whitty’s assessment that people should not hug or kiss their relatives, his official spokesperson claimed: “I’m not aware of the PM’s plans for Christmas but you’ve seen what the prime minister said on this earlier this week.
“We’ve always said that we wanted to allow families to meet up over Christmas but it remains important for people to be careful.”
The spokesperson added: “The PM has said on multiple occasions that Christmas is going to be different this year and we all have to be careful, particularly around elderly relatives.”
No comment. Health secretary Matt Hancock wouldn’t tell us whether he will take advantage of the “Christmas bubble” rule to...