Festive bubbles mean households will be able to meet up at Christmas for five days
It has been reported that households will be allowed to meet in bubble over Christmas for a number of days.
It is understood that ministers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, while not agreed on a final set of regulations, have endorsed a sharing objective of allowed ‘some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days’ over Christmas.
Families will choose their bubble in advance and then be allowed to spend time indoors with them, including at the pub.
Number 10 is yet to confirm how many days the reprieve will be applied to but reports suggest it could last between December 22nd and 28th.
In a statement published on Sunday, the Cabinet Office and the devolved administrations emphasise that the public will have to remain ‘cautious’ and should avoid travel to minimise social contact wherever possible.
The news comes after the prime minister met with the cabinet virtually on Sunday to sign off a ‘Covid Winter Plan’.
It will reportedly see a return to a tougher version of the regional tiered system when England’s lockdown 2.0 ends on December 2nd.
It is expected more areas will be placed into the higher levels of restrictions, which could mean some regions will face a ban on household mixing until the Christmas period, following criticism from government scientists.
Mr Johnson is set to address parliament today with the proposals.
The Independent reports that Sunak has hinted the government will scrap the 10pm curfew measure on bars and restaurants following the fierce criticism from dozens of Conservative MPs and Sir Keir Starmer. However, the BBC reports the curfew will remain but an additional hour to drink up with be added.
It is expected those hospitality businesses in tier 3 will be able to offer takeaway services and those in tier 2 can serve drinks with substantial meals.
It is also understood that Mr Johnson is set to allow the reopening of non-essential shops in all three tiers in order to boost retail in the festive period.
On the government’s Christmas plans, the Cabinet Office added: “Welcoming the good progress made by all administrations over the past few days to design a single set of arrangements that can apply across the UK, ministers reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real.
“In respect of Northern Ireland, ministers 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.
“Work is continuing to finalise the arrangements, including relating to travel. The UK government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland executive hope to conclude this work this week, subject to agreement by each administration.”
Last week, Public Health England warned that for every day restrictions are eased, five days of more stringent measures will be required to combat and keep Covid-19 infections under control.
The BBC added that the exception to the new tier rules will be Christmas, something the government deem as a ‘necessity’. Adding it is a recognition of the break the public need from the slog of the pandemic and that significant numbers of people will ignore any attempt to ban gatherings.
On Sunday, the UK reported another 18,662 new coronavirus cases and 398 deaths within 28 days of a positive test. This brought the UK total to 55,024 deaths.
Boy, 11, left in critical condition after being hit by police van
Awful news this morning
A boy has been left in critical condition in hospital following an incident with a police van last night.
The 11-year-old was struck by a police van in Lancaster on Thursday night, May 25th, as the van was attending a call.
Lancashire Police say the vehicle was en route to an emergency call when the collision happened.
The boy was crossing Owen Road just before 8:30 pm when he was hit, and was transported to Royal Lancaster Infirmary in a critical condition.
A police spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the child’s loved ones at this time.
“An investigation is underway to establish the full circumstances that led to the collision.
“We have voluntarily referred this matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), as is standard with an incident of this nature.”
The IOPC said in a statement: “We have declared an independent investigation into the actions of Lancashire Police prior to a road traffic collision in Owen Road, Lancaster at around 8.30pm tonight, in which a child has been injured.
“We understand that a marked police van, with its lights and sirens on, was in a collision with an 11-year-old boy.
“We were notified by the force shortly after the collision and declared an investigation at 10.37pm. IOPC investigators are heading to the scene and the police post incident procedure to begin gathering information.”
According to the IOPC, the investigation is in its early stages.
Sam Smith cancels upcoming shows due to ‘vocal cord injury’ and tells fans ‘I’m so sorry’
‘Refunds will be available at point of purchase for all three dates; Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow’
Sam Smith has cancelled their upcoming shows due to a vocal cord injury and issued a statement telling fans, ‘I’m so sorry’.
The singer had to call off their Gloria Tour show, mid-way through, at Manchester AO Arena last night (Wednesday May 24th) after experiencing ‘vocal issues’.
The lights went off and fans waited in darkness for a number of minutes as speculation circulated on social media, with many wondering if there had been a ‘power cut’.
Moments later, after just four songs, a packed-out arena was told the show unfortunately had to be called off.
Afterwards, Sam, 31, issued a statement on their Instagram stories to tell fans — who had missed out on a ‘surprise’ that was supposed to be at the end of the show — how ‘sorry’ they were.
Today, Thursday May 25th, the ‘Unholy’ singer has issued another statement after calling off upcoming gigs.
On their Instagram stories, the star wrote: “Due to vocal issues during last night’s Manchester performance, regrettably we will be cancelling the rescheduled Birmingham and Glasgow Sam Smith shows.
“Refunds will be available at point of purchase for all three dates; Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.
“A spokesperson said ‘Doctors have advised due to a vocal cord injury, Sam must have complete vocal rest’.
“Sam is heartbroken to have had to cancel these shows but they have been told by doctors that if they keep singing, they will do permanent damage to their voice.
“If they take some rest they will be able to perform again. I’m so sorry.”
Sam already had to push back the Birmingham and Glasgow gigs after suffering from a virus several weeks ago.
After calling off last night’s show at Manchester’s AO Arena, Sam wrote on their Instagram story: “Today in soundcheck I felt fine and was so excited to give Manchester an amazing show tonight, with a special surprise at the end.
“During my third song, I noticed something wrong with my voice. I prayed it was just my voice waking up for the show but into the fourth song I could feel something was really wrong.”
The pop singer added: “I came off stage and have tried everything to get my voice back in gear but it won’t.
“I am honestly heartbroken I couldn’t finish the show tonight for you all. I love you all. I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry.”
Body found in river in search for missing 24-year-old woman
Shannon’s family have been informed
A body has been found in a river in the search for a missing woman from Lancashire.
Police searching for Shannon Canning from Lancaster say they have found a body. The 24-year-old had been missing from home since the early hours of Friday May 19th.
A search operation was launched to find the young woman who did not turn up for work at Tipple bar on Friday afternoon.
Public appeals for help were launched by her family and the police force, who said they were concerned for her welfare as the disappearance was out of character.
Lancashire Police have confirmed the body of a woman was found in the River Lune near Halton on Wednesday afternoon, May 24th. Shannon’s family has been informed.
Patrols were increased during the week and specialist divers joined the search yesterday. Officers were called at around 4.20pm Wednesday afternoon when the discovery was made.
A statement from Lancashire Police said: “Sadly, officers searching for missing Shannon Canning have an update, following a body recovered from the River Lune.
“We can confirm that we were called today (May 24th) at around 4:20pm to a report that a body had been found in the River Lune, near Halton.
“Specialist search teams have subsequently attended the area and can sadly confirm that the body of a woman has been recovered.
“Although formal identification has yet to take place, we believe the body to be that of missing Shannon Canning.
“Shannon’s family have been made aware of this sad development and our thoughts are with them at this upsetting time.”