The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster held a discussion with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on Saturday to talk about shared arrangements to allow people to get together this Christmas.

The talks centred on allowing people to create bigger groups or bubbles (surely that should be baubles? Ed.) over the festive period.

Welcoming the good progress made by all administrations over the past few days to design a single set of arrangements that can apply across the UK, Ministers reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real.

A shared objective of allowing some limited additional household ‘bubbling’ for a small number of days was discussed. During the talks it was emphasised that the public will be advised to remain cautious, and that wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact.

In respect of Northern Ireland, it was also recognised that people will want to see family and friends across the island of Ireland, and this is the subject of discussions with the Irish Government.

Work is continuing to finalise the arrangements, including those relating to travel. The UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive hope to conclude this work this week, subject to agreement by each administration.