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17 December 2020, 12:48
Families are being urged to have short, small and local Christmas celebrations this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
New guidance for the Christmas period is encouraging over-70s and people shielding to celebrate outside this year.
Despite a surge in COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to cancel Christmas, and will still allow rules to be lifted over five days of the festive period.
However, those at risk have been encouraged to meet people outside this Christmas if possible.
This guidance does not specify how this would work when it comes to having Christmas dinner – are people expected to eat outdoors too?
If outside is not possible, they're being urged to keep windows open to help ventilation in homes.
The new guidance states: "If you are over 70 or clinically extremely vulnerable, think carefully about the risks.
“The safest approach may be not to form a Christmas bubble."
They add: “If you do form a Christmas bubble, then be especially careful to observe the guidance - meet outdoors where possible, wash your hands regularly, keep a distance from those you don’t live with.
“And, if you meet indoors, ensure good ventilation by letting in fresh air.”
The Prime Minister's plans for restrictions to be loosened between December 23 and December 27 will go ahead, with up to three households being allowed to meet for the festive season.
He said that he believed it would be "frankly inhuman" to "cancel" Christmas.
However, Mr Johnson did advice people to keep their Christmas celebrations "short, small and local" this year.