England is expected to go back into a tiered system (Picture: PA/Getty)
The new plan, which will come into effect after the national lockdown ends in England, is likely to leave most people unable to mix socially with family and friends, aside from a brief respite at Christmas.
The Sunday Times reports that there will be a return to the system of tiers, but this time they will be stricter than they were in October.
These will be suspended for between three and five days over Christmas, but will then be in place again until March.
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A senior government source told the paper: ‘Most people will be in tier 2 or tier 3.
‘The tiers get switched off over Christmas and then switched back on again.’
There is expected to be break in restrictions for Christmas (Credits: Getty Images)
The rules for the break over the festive period are being discussed with the devolved administrations with a view to making them the same, so that people can travel to see relatives between countries.
A source said: ‘A lot of people will need to go from England to Scotland or to Wales, so the rules need to be the same.’
Boris Johnson is expected to make a speech in Parliament tomorrow discussing the new tiers system.
It comes as plans for vaccines are being drawn up, with several promising candidates showing efficacy, including ones from Pfizer and Moderna.
The first people are expected to get injections next month, with a wider roll-out planned for the new year.
A government source said of the new tiers system: ‘This is the plan to get us through to Easter when hopefully we will have vaccines in people’s arms.
‘That will allow us to get life back to something close to normal.’
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