UK nations work hard to make Xmas merry

The four UK nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have backed plans to allow some household mixing "for a small number of days" over Christmas, a media report said on Monday.

According to the BBC report, work to finalise the arrangements for a UK-wide approach to restrictions for the upcoming holiday season is ongoing.

In a statement, the Cabinet Office said that Ministers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have endorsed a "shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days".

But they have emphasised that the public will be advised to "remain cautious", and that "wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact".

While the Scottish government has said that "no agreement has been reached" so far on the arrangements, Northern Ireland Ministers have also "recognised that people will want to see family and friends across the island of Ireland, and this is the subject of discussions with the Irish government", according to the Cabinet Office.

The BBC report came as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Monday unveil a tougher three-tiered system for England, slated to be introduced at the end of the current lockdown on December 2.

After the system's unveiling at the House of Commons, every region of England will be told on Thursday which tier they will be put into after the lockdown ends.

Under the new system, 10 p.m. closing time for pubs and restaurants will also be relaxed.

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