Wales to put two household Christmas bubble limit into law

Now it will be ILLEGAL for more than two households to form a Christmas bubble in Wales as Welsh Government breaks ranks with rest of the UK to put tough new guidance into law

  • UK-wide rules say up to three households are allowed to form Christmas bubble 
  • Mark Drakeford said at lunchtime people should limit bubble to two households
  • The Welsh Government has now announced two household limit to be made law 

Families in Wales will be legally banned from forming a Christmas bubble with more than one other household after the Welsh Government announced tough new guidance will be made into law.   

First Minister Mark Drakeford said at lunchtime that people in Wales should limit mixing over Christmas to just two households instead of three ahead of the country entering another lockdown. 

But the Welsh Government said this evening the country’s guidance to limit bubbles to two households will instead be made into law to make it ‘easier’ for people to understand the rules.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said at lunchtime Christmas bubbles should only include two rather than three households. The Welsh Government has now said the guidance will be made into law

The four home nations of the UK had agreed a united set of rules for the Christmas period which allow people to form bubbles of up to three households when restrictions are eased between December 23 and December 27. 

But the united stance disintegrated today as the countries set out different guidance and urged people to take as cautious an approach as possible to mixing with others at Christmas.  

In England, the legal limit for Christmas bubbles will remain three households but Boris Johnson has told the nation that just because the rules say something is allowed that does not mean that is what everyone should do. 

But Wales will now put into law its guidance to reduce Christmas bubbles to a maximum of two households. 

A Welsh Government spokesman said: ‘Ministers decided this afternoon that we will be amending the regulations in Wales. 

‘So for December 23 to 27 the restriction on two households meeting will be part of Welsh law.

‘It makes it easier, so we don’t have the position where the law says one thing and the guidance says something else.’

Mr Drakeford had earlier said the coronavirus situation is Wales is ‘so serious’ that people should not take up the full three household allowance. 

He announced that a ‘sustained rise in coronavirus’ means the country will now go into its third lockdown from December 28.

All non-essential retail will close on the evening of Christmas Eve and all hospitality from 6pm on Christmas Day. 

But tougher restrictions for household mixing, a stay at home message and rules on travel will only come in on December 28 after the five days of relaxed measures at Christmas.

Mr Drakeford told a press briefing at lunchtime: ‘Here in Wales, the position is that only two households should come together to form an exclusive Christmas bubble during the five-day period.

‘The fewer people we mix with in our homes, the less chance we have of catching or spreading the virus.’