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How you CAN have a Covid-safe Christmas: Go for a test before you visit, no kissing

Pictured: Stock image

It's official: Christmas is saved.

The festive period won't be lonely and miserable, after all, thanks to the Prime Minister's 'Christmas bubbles' – allowing three households to congregate between December 23 and 27.

Grandchildren can pull a cracker with both sets of grandparents, deliver presents to relatives on the other side of the country and, perhaps most counter-intuitively, even share hugs.

We can go to church, and mixing can happen at home, but – the only small downside – not in restaurants, pubs or other hospitality venues.

The Government's line: yes, there is a risk. But it's our 'personal responsibility' to weigh this up for ourselves and our families.

Experts warn that festive celebrations could come at a price.

Infections are declining, but the virus is still out there. On average, in England, one in 85 people are thought to be carrying it.

The Government's advisers at SAGE (the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) went as far as to predict a third wave of Covid infections following the Christmas period and yet more unnecessary deaths, particularly among the elderly.

It won't be any surprise, then, that despite the easing of restrictions, not all families will risk getting together.

Professor Paul Hunter, a microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, believes the Government relaxed the rules for Christmas because it knew that many people would do as they wished regardless.

He said: 'Perhaps the hope is, that if we allow for three households to mix at home, but not in pubs and restaurants, people will stick to seeing only those people instead of coming into contact with lots of others.

'We're also amid a mental health crisis – and evidence shows that suicides peak soon after the Christmas period.

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