On Tuesday, doctors asked Johnson to repeal the relaxation rules, which would cause families to fall apart.
The Boris Johnson government will set a strong precedent for families reuniting for Christmas as soon as Wednesday after an increase in Covid-19 cases highlighting the dangers of allowing families to reunite for five days next week, according to a source familiar with the matter.
On Tuesday, doctors asked Johnson to repeal the relaxation rules, which would cause families to fall between countries and regions. The British Medical Association has said that allowing people to come together is a “catastrophe.” The leader of the opposition Labor Party, Keir Starmer, has called on the government to reconsider the rules.
The number of people tested positive for the virus has increased by 30% in the past seven days in the UK and talks between ministers in London and dedicated officials in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to find a similar approach over Christmas were set to continue on Wednesday.
Ministers are unlikely to change the rules but are expected to issue a strong directive, according to a person, who has requested anonymity because of private talks. Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick used a series of TV and radio interviews on Wednesday morning to urge people to use common sense when making Christmas plans.
“Easter could be a new Christmas for some people,” Jenrick told Sky News.
“If we think of specific examples we can see around the world like Thanksgiving, for example, when a lot of people who met had results after the event.”
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove will meet with his counterparts in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast on Wednesday to try to agree on a UK-wide approach after negotiations failed to reach a united front Tuesday.
Johnson has faced growing demands to rethink his approach to Christmas after a spate of lawsuits, particularly in London and southeastern England.
Ministers are also expected to review limited assignments across England by the end of Wednesday. London and surrounding areas of southeastern England moved to the solid tier 3 on Wednesday, ahead of schedule, following a slowdown in disease.