UK’s new COVID protection measures to Christmas

By | 19th December 2020

The UK has gone into stricter restriction measures with cases of COVID-19 escalating.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said: “Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, and the potential risk it poses, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned.” (19 December 2020).

Coverage will be published shortly to support communicators and businesses that we work alongside.

New four tier local restrictions


Local restriction tiers: what you need to know – Department of Health and Social Care, first published 23 Nov 2020, and regularly updated.

Information published by the UK Government on what you can and cannot do in an area in the new four tiers of local restrictions.

Tier 1 – Medium alert
Tier 2 – High alert
Tier 3 – Very High alert
Tier 4 – ‘Stay At Home’ Alert Level in response to new COVID variant

Tier 4 banner - Stay at Home. If you live in a Tier 4 area, you cannot join or form a Christmas bubble.

The new guidelines for England on making a Christmas bubble with friends and family. The update replaces the arrangements announced by the Cabinet Office on 24 November 2020. The guidance for the Christmas period has also been updated.

The full list of local restriction tiers by area in England from the start of 20 December 2020.

Tighter arrangements to come in

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed the tighter measures and change to Christmas arrangements at an emergency press conference on Saturday 19 December. In his statement on coronavirus (COVID-19), the PM said: “It appears this spread is now being driven by the new variant of the virus.”

Sir Patrick Vallance, the Chief Science Advisor, presented slides on the current state of infections.

In his statement on the new strain of Covid-19 identified mainly in London and the South East of England, Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, confirmed it had been reported to the World Health Organisation. He said: “There is no current evidence to suggest the new strain causes a higher mortality rate or that it affects vaccines and treatments although urgent work is underway to confirm this.” He added: “Given this latest development it is now more vital than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission.”