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Almost one in four Brits have admitted that they will break any lockdown restrictions that attempt to prevent them seeing family from another household bubble on Christmas Day.

In a survey of 1,000 UK consumers conducted by Birmingham Law Society, 23.5% admitted they are likely to break the rules and see their family regardless.

Now, leading lawyers have offered the government a stark warning that all communication and policy announcements relating to the Christmas period are made clear, and that a distinction is made between what is regulation and guidance. Authorities must also be prepared if different restrictions are in place across the country.

Adrian Keeling QC, Barrister at No5 Barrister Chambers, and member of the Birmingham Law Society, said: “The easing of lockdown which has been promised for December 2nd has focused all attention on Christmas Day, and whether restrictions will remain in place or if there will be a temporary lifting. Our survey results suggest that a significant proportion of the British public are willing to break the law in order to see their extended family on Christmas Day.”

He continued: “People have to realise however that, no matter what their individual circumstances are, they are obliged to abide by the law. If they do not, then they could face significant penalties. The law applies to all, even if you do not agree with it.”

The Prime Minister is due to announce on Thursday (26 November) the rules for Christmas and the likely tiers that individual areas and regions will be placed into.  “My concern is that too many appear to regard the law in relation to lockdowns as a take it or leave it option. This has perhaps been exacerbated from the blurring of what is communicated as a Regulation and as such is law, and that which is only Guidance. Before any Christmas lockdown, or relaxation of the current rules, we need real clarity from the government about what is actually required from individuals as their legal duty, and what is not.”

Birmingham Law Society commissioned a survey of 1,000 UK consumers in November 2020.

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