France agreed to lift its ban on UK arrivals on the condition of a negative coronavirus test. However, there have been reports of scuffles on the UK-France border as truckers face days ahead before the nearly 1,500 lorries can start moving towards their destinations.
During what is an annual festive and holiday period in the UK with Christmas and New Year, millions in the country have had their plans to meet friends and family scuppered after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson abandoned a planned five-day “Christmas bubble” after scientists confirmed the new COVID-19 variant was spreading more rapidly.
Under the revised rules, only people living in tiers one to three are permitted to socialise in a bubble of three households on December 25 for Christmas Day. Those in Tier 4 areas must only celebrate Christmas with members of their own household and support bubble. They will not be allowed to travel to other tiers to see family and friends.
The Opposition Labour Party has accused Johnson of having “always been behind the COVID curve” and urged him to move quickly.
“If the scientific advice is tougher restrictions, don’t sit on it for weeks like you did last time, don’t dither, don’t delay because that has disastrous consequences, take the action that is needed now to save lives,” said Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth.
However, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has written to Johnson to say his party will back any government moves to tighten restrictions if that is what scientists recommend.