The UK’s plan for Christmas is that, from 23-27 December, you can form a special ‘Christmas Bubble’ with two other households. Christmas rescued? Sadly, not quite as far as I can see.
The key limitation is that your bubble must be an exclusive group of up to three households. If your parents are in John o’Groats and your parents down at Lands End, you could spend most of the allotted period travelling between the two locations, sharing germs at motorway services but barely having time at either end. Assume a more reasonable distance and you still have complications: unless you and your spouse are both only only children, visiting both sets of parents bars any of your siblings from seeing either of them (an exclusive bubble of no more than three different households across the five day period).
As the UK has a device range of family set ups, there must be millions of families facing vastly complex choices where all sorts of loved ones must be given the cold shoulder as far as physical presence goes. Even in the Les Dawson world where you are trying to avoid the mother-in-law, that’s the mother of someone near and dear. If I were a government being ‘led by science’ I think I’d be inclined to say “stick to your tier rules”. As it is, I think we’re going to have a lot of rejection, a lot of law breaking and a lot of disease spreading.
I wonder if a lot of the people who made that decision are in a position where they can selfishly work out a way they can please themselves. I’m pretty sure they haven’t applied themselves to the pernicious mathematics of exclusive sets. May the promised vaccinations be enough to draw us out of this sink towards Easter.