Government guidelines also state that people in a support bubble should:
- Only form a support bubble if you meet the government eligibility criteria, this allow adults who live by themselves and single parents with children under 18 to join up with one other household.
- If anyone in your support bubble develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus, follow the stay at home guidance.
- If you are in a support bubble with someone who is over 70 or clinically extremely vulnerable, you should think carefully about the risks to their health before meeting up.
- In order to reduce the health risks and protect others, you should continue to follow social distancing guidance with people outside of your household or support bubble.
- If you share custody of a child with someone you do not live with, the child can move freely between both parents’ households. You do not need to form a support bubble to do this.
- Where possible, you should avoid changing your support bubble. This will help prevent spreading the virus between households.
- If you decide to change your support bubble, you should treat your previous bubble as a separate household for 10 days before forming a new bubble. This means following the rules on meeting people from other households in the tier you are in.
New Year’s Eve rules in Scotland
According to government guidance, Christmas Day bubbles will not apply at Hogmanay and New Year.
All of mainland Scotland will be in Level 4 over Hogmanay and New Year with Orkney, Shetland, Na h-Eileanan Siar and the more remote islands in Highland and Argyll and Bute in Level 3.
Depending on the level of your local restrictions, rules on meeting up and travelling must be followed.
The Government had said the safest way to celebrate Christmas in Scotland this year was to celebrate with your own household in your own home “and as far as possible, to keep any interaction with other households to a minimum”.
However, following Christmas Day, Mainland Scotland awoke to new lockdown on December 26, after Nicola Sturgeon announced Tier 4 restrictions would last for three weeks.
However, in an emergency press conference, Ms Sturgeon said case numbers in Scotland were broadly stable, with Covid rates around half the level of England and half that in Wales.
Under Scottish regulations, you are banned from travelling between Scotland and the rest of the UK unless you have a reasonable excuse, such as for work or education.
New Year’s Eve rules in Wales
Wales went into full lockdown with Tier 4 restrictions from December 20.
Tier 4 restrictions will remain in place for a minimum of 3 weeks, which means that all people in Wales should stay home, unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave. This includes New Years Eve.
Extended households will not be permitted and you will only be able to meet the people you live with or people you are in a support bubble with.
Health bosses have urged members of the public to closely follow coronavirus regulations on New Year’s Eve.
The Welsh Labour leader, Mark Drakeford, said a “sustained rise in coronavirus” meant that the country would have to move into its highest level of restrictions. His announcement came after a meeting with the first ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as Michael Gove, on the new strain of coronavirus.
All non-essential retail, close contact services, gyms and leisure centres and hospitality remain closed during the lockdown period.
New Year’s Eve rules in Northern Ireland
Health Minister Robin Swann has warned that New Year’s Eve parties in Northern Ireland could be “super-spreader” events for coronavirus.
He said he was asking people to “play their part” by not visiting friends during what was a “crucial period”.
A set of stricter measures were put in place from 12.01 am on 26 December 2020 and will last until 12.01 am on 2 January 2021, meaning that the rules would be in place for New Year’s Eve.
From 8.00 pm to 6.00 am there can be no indoor or outdoor gatherings of any kind. This includes no household mixing in private gardens.
Non-essential retail will close throughout the six weeks, as will close contact services. Hospitality outlets will be limited to takeaway services.
Organised sport will also be banned, with elite sport included in the prohibition for the first week.
The latest rules in Northern Ireland are here.
Can I travel between tiers over New Year?
A cross-border travel ban between Scotland and England has been in place in recent weeks and Nicola Sturgeon extended that ban, saying she was “very, very sorry” but it was needed to prevent any more of the new strain entering the country.
Wales, too, has re-entered a national lockdown that bans incoming and outgoing travel.
As for individual countries, each nation has different regulations once travellers arrive at their destination. In England, you should follow the rules of the tier in the area you are visiting.
Residents are encouraged to keep their travel local, reduce their number of journeys and avoid leaving their village, town or city area.
Walking and cycling is also recommended, with people advised to avoid public transport at busy times.
You should not leave a Tier 4 area unless for permitted reasons, such as work, education, caring responsibilities, to visit a support bubble or for medical reasons, and someone from a Tier 1, 2 or 3 area should not enter a Tier 4 zone except for the same reasons.
In Scotland, you should also follow the travel advice for the level you are in during the relaxation period. For example, visitors staying in a level 3 area cannot go on an outing to a level 2 area.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland is negotiating an agreement with Ireland.
Can I travel abroad over the New Year?
Britain was hit with a travel ban on December 20 by a host of European countries to halt the spread of the new, more infectious coronavirus strain.
The ban on passenger flights from the UK threatened to disrupt the festive travel plans of an estimated 250,000 Britons.
If you live in a Tier 4 area, you can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.
Travel to the UK from abroad will continue to be governed by the travel corridor approach. Individuals will need to self-isolate for 10 days if arriving from or have travelled through a non-travel corridor country or territory.
Previously, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland were among 15 European countries to close their borders to flights and most trains and ferries from the UK, but the ban could be extended to the entire bloc.
Ireland have also extended their travel ban on passenger flights and ferries until January 6, as the country goes back into lockdown for another month.
The EU held an emergency meeting on Dec 21, to discuss a blanket ban that could cost UK consumers £400 million in cancelled bookings.
Travelling against official government advice is not illegal, but most tour operators will not offer trips to destinations which the Foreign Office (FCO) deems unsafe. In a pandemic, that’s just about everywhere – and it does make travel insurance complicated.
If you choose to visit a country to which the FCO advises against travel without invalidating your insurance – here’s what you need to know.