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Christmas Bubble Rules in Scotland
1st December 2020
The Scottish government has published its guidance on forming household bubbles over the festive period. The advice covers how many people will be able to meet in Scotland, and the rules on where that can happen. The current COVID rules will be relaxed between 23 and 27 December to allow people to travel within the UK and spend Christmas together in bubbles of up to three households.
The Scottish government has recommended that these bubbles should contain a maximum of eight people - although children under the age of 12 do not count towards that total, and do not need to physically distance from others. Everyone else is encouraged to keep 2m (6ft 6in) away from those outside their own household as much as possible to lower the risk of transmitting the virus.
You can only be in one Christmas bubble, and cannot change to a different one. The government says anyone thinking of creating a bubble should carefully consider the risks. It stresses that people do not have to meet other people or feel pressured to spend Christmas with another household.
The advice is to keep in touch using technology wherever you can, limit the number of times that you meet in person - and to gather outside if possible. For example, go for a walk rather than having a meal together. Those in extended households can form a bubble, but it can only contain one extended household.
Where parents do not live in the same household, children can still move between their homes if they are in different bubbles. Travel restrictions will be relaxed from 23 to 27 December to allow people to travel between local authority areas and the four UK nations to join a bubble. If you are using public transport, the advice is to book ahead where possible and follow the rules on wearing face coverings while travelling.
Anyone travelling to or from a Scottish island should make their journey within the five-day period from 23 to 27 December. Once you have arrived, you should then follow the travel guidance which applies in the area where you are staying. If that is in level three or four, for example, you would have to avoid any non-essential travel outside that council area.