Government urges people to keep Christmas ‘small, short and local’

PM Boris Johnson

Covid restrictions are eased for Christmas but the government is advising to ‘keep it small, keep it short and keep it local.’

Between 23 and 27 December:

  • you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
  • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
  • you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier you are meeting in
  • if you form a Christmas bubble, you should not meet socially with friends and family that you do not live with in your home or garden unless they are part of your Christmas bubble

Find full government guidance here

You should travel to meet those in your Christmas bubble and return home between the 23 and 27 December. Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December.

Speaking today (December 16) Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Christmas bubbles were maximums not targets.

He said: “The overall situation is worse and more challenging than hoped for when we first set out the rules. It would not be right to criminalise people who have made plans and simply want to spend time with their loved ones. So, we are asking you to think hard and in detail about the days ahead and what to do to most protect yourself and others,”

The PM said the Christmas rules had not been reversed but he urged people to plan for a ‘small and safe’ Christmas. This means small family bubbles, meeting for shorter time periods and travelling as little as possible.

He also said people should minimise contact with others from this Friday to  lower the risk of transmission and should, if possible, not travel from higher tiers to lower ones.

He added that with the vaccine roll out he expected things to be better in the country by Easter with families being able to enjoy a normal Christmas next year.

The results of the tier level review will be announced tomorrow.

KCC stats for week 6 December to 12 December weekly cases per 100,000 people

Kent 494.9 +151 vs previous 7 days

England 202.9 +49.5 vs previous 7 days

Cases by district

Ashford 590.8 +331.5 vs previous 7 days

Canterbury 528.4 +203.1 vs previous 7 days

Dartford 427.2 +134.1 vs previous 7 days

Dover 604.6 +229.5 vs previous 7 days

Folkestone and Hythe 448.7 +147.8 vs previous 7 days

Gravesham 493.7 +67.3 vs previous 7 days

Maidstone 558.1 +143.2 vs previous 7 days

Sevenoaks 256.7 +121.7 vs previous 7 days

Swale 730.9 +105.9 vs previous 7 days

Thanet 451.7 +28.9 vs previous 7 days

Tonbridge and Malling 447.2 +164.2 vs previous 7 days

Tunbridge Wells 301.5 +127.2 vs previous 7 days

About the data

 KCC publishes the number of COVID-19 cases in the stated 7 day period. This provides a better indication of local trends than individual daily figures, which can fluctuate considerably from day to day. Figures are given as a rate per 100,000 people to make comparisons between different areas more meaningful.

To provide a more complete picture of what the data tells us, KCC uses a full week’s data. COVID-19 test results typically take a few days to show up in the data  and so this can make figures for the most recent days appear lower than they really are. For this reason, KCC does not include data for the most recent 4 days.

Rates may differ slightly from those published by Public Health England as these are produced as a snapshot in time, and do not include cases that were confirmed later on. Other sources may publish figures for different time periods and so they may not match KCC figures.


  1. One thing that’s been consistent throughout this pandemic is the government’s inconsistency.
    The latest example is their relaxing the covid rules for Christmas, then telling is not to relax
    No wonder people are confused.

    • At the end of the day we all need to take our personal risk assessments for our loved ones and the wider community.
      Being told what to do all the time is not the answer…

      • According to research, 80% of people who should be self isolating (being told what to do …) don’t.
        I don’t know what the answer is; but appealing to people’s social conscience or common sense is obviously a waste of time.
        Come January, there will most likely be a huge spike in infections, and, tragically, vulnerable people who wouldn’t otherwise will die.
        For some sprouts and a bit of mistletoe.
        Stay at home. Don’t mix and mingle. If people don’t meet up, the virus can’t spread.
        Listen to the science, not the politics.

      • At the moment I think we should be being told VERY VERY CLEARLY what to do. Since so many people don’t seem to have a clue.

  2. We all like liberalism. But Just have a look how they have got this Virus under control in the far east. They do as they are told….

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