Rule of six: Shapps gives his predictions on whether Christmas is cancelled

10 September 2020, 10:41 | Updated: 10 September 2020, 10:49

By Fiona Jones

With the incoming Government rule of limiting gatherings to six people, Nick Ferrari asks Transport Secretary Grant Shapps whether he believes a big family Christmas will be cancelled.

The new Government rules, which come into effect on Monday, mean that the number of people meeting indoors and outdoors will be reduced from 30 to six, with a number of exemptions including weddings, funerals, work and schools.

Nick Ferrari asked whether there would be any chance of a normal Christmas or the public will be constricted to a rule of six.

"It's hard to know about Christmas," Mr Shapps said, "the situation will be that by following this rule of six and it being very straight forward... from Monday for people to do that.

"If everybody follows it, it looks like we can get the R rate below 1 again. When that happens the virus starts to shrink away and that's what we've been seen happening for a long time."

The minister told Nick he was unsure where the R number is at currently "but we know it's above one and we won't be able to let up unless we can get it below."

He predicted the rule of six, which will be enshrined in law, will be in place for a sustained period of time.

"Our hope would be that we can get the R rate below one and get to enjoy Christmas as families together, but it remains in the balance.

"We have to fight this virus first and foremost."