SCOTS will be allowed to form a “bubble” with two other households for five days over Christmas – but will not be allowed to visit pubs and restaurants with extended family.

Nicola Sturgeon held crunch talks with the UK Government and other devolved nations to thrash out a “common framework” to allow Covid-19 rules to be relaxed over the festive period across all nations.

What Scots can do at Christmas

Between December 23 and December 27 Scots can meet in an exclusive bubble composed of three households.

READ MORE: Four governments agree deal to lift restrictions for limited period

All members of the bubble will have to follow travel advice of the level the host household is located – meaning those being hosted in a level 2 area cannot visit a level 2 area.

READ MORE: Scots told to only relax Christmas rules if necessary

The three households can meet in a home, an outdoor place or a place of worship – but in all other settings such as hospitality and entertainment venues, gatherings will continue to be restricted to original households.

Those who choose to form an extended bubble for the festive period will be advised to limit social contact before and after the five days where rules are relaxed.

Hogmanay gatherings not allowed

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We know that for some, contact with friends and family is crucial during this time as isolation and loneliness can hit people especially hard over the Christmas period. The 'bubble' approach aims to reduce this impact.

“But we must be clear, there cannot be any further relaxation of measures for Hogmanay. Even this short relaxation will give the virus a chance to spread. Our priority is to suppress transmission of Covid-19 and reduce the risk to the vulnerable and those who have spent so long shielding - and that involves abiding by the rules.

“Just because you can mix with others indoors over this time, that doesn’t mean you have to. If you choose to stick with the rules as they are, then you will be continuing the hard work to beat this virus and prevent its spread.”

The four-nations agreement means that people will be able to travel between tiers and across the whole of the UK without restriction within the five-day period, for the purposes of meeting with their bubble.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “I’m very pleased we have secured agreement right across the UK to ensure families can meet, albeit in a far more limited way than usual, this Christmas.

“Christmas has a special place in all of our hearts. It is a time when many of us look forward to spending time with friends and relatives, and many families come together from all parts of the UK.”

He added: “This Christmas will not be what we are used to. Because of the virus, it simply cannot be. But a limited easing of restrictions will allow us to see some of our loved ones at this important time.

“More household mixing does mean more chance for the virus to spread, however, and I urge people to be as careful and responsible as possible over the Christmas period.”