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27 November 2020, 11:55
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty advised the public against kissing and hugging elderly relative over the Christmas period.
Families have been warned against hugging their elderly relatives this Christmas, with Chris Whitty urging people 'just to have sense'.
The Chief Medical Officer urged the public to avoid kissing and hugging their older relatives "if you want them to survive to be hugged again".
Speaking at the Press Conference from Downing Street yesterday (26 November), he said: "Would I encourage someone to huge and kiss their elderly relatives? No I would not..If you want them to survive to be hugged again."
He added that the public should take the pandemic "really seriously" over the festive period, saying: "Don’t do stupid things.
"Don’t do unnecessary things just because the rules say you can."
Chief Scientific Advisor Patrick Vallance, who was speaking alongside Dr Whitty, added that people should "avoid behaviours that would spread the disease" and socially distance where possible while keeping their homes well-ventilated.
He said: "I think hugging elderly relatives is not something to go out and do, it will increase the spread to a vulnerable population."
Earlier this week, the government announced that the lockdown rules would be relaxed between December 23 and December 27.
Up to three households will be able to mix inside at this time to form a 'Christmas bubble', with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying in a statement: "All four nations of the UK have agreed that from the 23 December to the 27 December, you will be able to form a Christmas bubble with up to two households.
"You will be able to spend time together at home, or go for a walk, go to church or another communal service of worship."
"Reflecting the ties of kinship across out islands, this agreement mean that wherever you live in the UK, families will be able to reunite."
Mr Johnson added that he knows this "does not equate to a normal Christmas" and that the plans "will not work for everyone".
He urged people to "think carefully" about how we use this time, and that families will need to make a "personal judgement" about the risk of forming a bubble or visiting elderly relatives and the vulnerable.
He said: "Tis the season to be jolly, but tis also the season to be jolly careful".
'Christmas bubbles' will be able to spend time indoors with each other without social distancing, but will not be able to visit hospitality venues like the pub and restaurants.