THE leader of Buckinghamshire Council has stressed that while up to three households may “bubble” for five days over Christmas, “it doesn’t mean we should” – adding we are at a “very dangerous point”.

Cllr Martin Tett issued a statement to residents about the rules around the festive period, shortly after it was revealed Buckinghamshire will be placed into tier three before Christmas, the highest alert category.

He acknowledged the need to see loved ones at this time of year, but urged government advice to “keep it small, keep it short and keep it local”.

READ MORE: A ‘worsening picture’ for Bucks as county prepares to enter Tier 3

The new, tougher tier three restrictions are due to come into force at 00.01am, on Saturday, December 19.

Government guidance about what to do from December 23-27 is as follows:

  • You may form a  “ Christmas bubble”  with people from three households
  • You may convene in homes, places of worship or in a public outdoor place – but not restaurants and pubs
  • If you form a bubble, you should not meet people you do not live with in your home or garden unless they are part of your bubble
  • You may travel between tiers and nations in the UK to be in your bubble
  • If you do not form a bubble, you should follow the guidance for your local tier

From December 28 you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area. Christmas bubbles will no longer apply.

READ MORE: COVID: Bucks put into Tier 3 amid fears for ‘overwhelmed’ health service

“We are all desperate to see loved ones over Christmas and to try to enjoy some kind of normality. I completely understand that,” said Cllr Tett.

“All I want to do is to reiterate the messages coming from the government about Christmas; that while the temporary rules will allow three households to bubble 23-27 December, it’s down to us all individually to make our own choices about what we actually will do, and the level of risk we want to take.

“Because we can meet up like this, it doesn’t mean we should, and the advice is to ‘keep it small, keep it short and keep it local’.

“Above all, I urge you to think carefully about the risks especially where older relatives are concerned and to make your own choices carefully. Sadly, we are at a very dangerous point in the pandemic at the moment, so please bear that in mind when finalising your festive arrangements.”

What are the rules under tier three?

  • No household mixing in or outdoors, in gardens, or hospitality venues
  • Rule of six outdoors
  • Pubs and restaurants should be closed, except for delivery and takeaway services
  • Indoor entertainment venues should close
  • People should avoid travelling in and out of the area
  • Hairdressers can continue to operate