Brits who want to spend time with their grandparents this Christmas should quarantine now, the Health Secretary has ordered.
As December 25 is now only 10 days away Matt Hancock urged families to self-isolate ahead of seeing elderly relatives.
Festive bubbles are allowed from December 23 for five days – although the restrictions are being reviewed amid piling pressure from experts.
Ministers and health officials have told the public to be sensible when reuniting with loved ones over the festive break.
Mr Hancock said on Monday night that Brits should isolate for 10 days before spending time with their families.
"If you are planning to meet up with loved ones at Christmas then being careful now, two weeks ahead and making sure you minimise the chance of catching the disease and passing it on is the right thing to do," he said.
“The best thing you can do if you want to see elderly relatives at Christmas is to be extremely careful now about who you see, and that’s the way to see loved ones.”
Brits were told to minimise social contact in order to curb the spread of Covid -19.
Mr Hancock added: "We must stay vigilant. Around one in three people don't display any symptoms at all but can still spread it.”
Fast-spreading new mutated Covid strain now in Scotland and Wales
It comes as scientists warned that coronavirus had mutated into a super-spreading form that has ravaged across the UK.
The new strain, believed to have developed in the south-east, has now been found as far north as Scotland.
The variant has been found in at least 60 towns, according to reports, as doctors found more than 1,000 cases of the mutation.
Family Christmas could be cancelled as government told to scrap 5-day festive bubbles
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on Downing Street to make another screeching u-turn over the management of the virus.
Plans to relax the restrictions over Christmas have been branded “rash” as two leading medical journals warned: “We believe the government is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives.”
Cabinet minister Michael Gove held talks this afternoon with leaders across the UK as a spokesman for the PM said rules were “under constant review”.
The talks were adjourned on Tuesday and will resume on Wednesday – but it is likely that for the moment, England will persist with five days of relaxed restrictions.
Millions of Brits in Hertfordshire, London and Essex will be plunged into the toughest tier of Coronavirus rules from Midnight on Wednesday.
Coronavirus hospital deaths rosebay 332 in the UK on Tuesday, a drop on the equivalent figure of 403 recorded last week.
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