In November, Boris Johnson confirmed families would be granted five days of eased Covid-19 restrictions to enjoy Christmas with no more than two other households.
The exemptions would last from 23 December 23 to December 27, with travel restrictions also being relaxed on these dates within the UK to allow families, or groups of friends, the freedom to meet up.
But following the news that large swathes of England would be moving up to tier 3, questions have been raised about whether relaxing measures is appropriate.
Speaking during a visit to Greater Manchester Boris Johnson was asked whether England would follow Northern Ireland in imposing stringent restrictions after the festive period.
He said: “We’re hoping very much that we will be able to avoid anything like that. But the reality is that the rates of infection have increased very much in the last few weeks.”
We asked our readers if they planned to meet up with friends and family during the Christmas period. Here's a selection of some of your answers:
Maz Freebabe: "No, I am seeing my sister just to exchange presents next week and then that's it. No one allowed in and I am not going out except to walk my dog. I've been shielding since March and the vaccine is close so I will not blow it now."
Andie Pass: "I've been allowed to work in an office since March and to shop in packed supermarkets, so yeah, obviously I'm meeting with family."
Julie Pickard: "No. I think this has been ill thought out and will carry consequences. These continued lockdowns will have a massive impact on the hospitality sector and small businesses which will result in yet more job losses."
Nikki Turner: "Yes. If I can go shopping when it's packed in the shops and queues I'm pretty sure I can socially distance with family and friends sensibly. In my opinion none of it makes any sense."
Maureen Hack: "It's not worth the risk. Give it a miss this year and celebrate next Christmas with all family and friends. What does it matter missing one Christmas celebration."
Alison Hewitt: "Yes I am. I can go shopping, walk around town; I am not missing Christmas Day with my family for anyone. Nobody knows how many Christmases we have left."
Sheila Mary: "No. I'm not undoing nine months of shielding for the sake of one day. I will have Christmas at a later date when I've had the vaccine and feel safe to mix."
Lisa Womack: "Yep. We all work in frontline care and take twice weekly tests. If negative on Christmas Eve it will go ahead."
Alison Twine: "I'm meeting with my daughters and grandchildren nearby on the beach tomorrow, taking a flask, sandwiches and exchanging presents then going nowhere at Christmas, just doing online opening of presents and a zoom quiz. Different but safe."
What are your plans this Christmas? Let us know in the comments below.
It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.