SCOTS who live in shared flats or houses are being advised not to form a Christmas bubble with loved ones – while those wanted to visit vulnerable people over the festive period should “not form a bubble with any other household”.

The Scottish Government, along with all UK administrations, has announced that people will be able to form an extended bubble with two other households from December 23 until December 27.

People in Scotland have been advised to keep their extended bubbles "to a maximum of eight people".

Children under the age of 12 do not count towards the total number of people counted in the bubble.

Tailored guidance for those north of the border has now been published by the Scottish Government - including that one current extended household can be included in the three-household bubble.

READ MORE: Coronavirus Scotland: Here are the Christmas rules for Scots

The guidance recommends that “you should limit your social contact with others as far as you can before and after forming a bubble to minimise transmission risks and to protect your loved ones”.

Scots are also being advised to “remain two metres away from people outside of your household as much as possible” while forming an extended bubble. But children aged 12 and under do not need to maintain physical distance from others.

Flatmates shouldn't split up over Christmas

The advice warns that those who live in a shared flat or house, other than students, “are considered a household” and the Scottish Government’s “strong advice is that households should not split up and enter separate bubbles over the festive period”.

It adds: “If you do join different bubbles you should isolate from your flatmates both before and after joining your bubble for around a week.”

Scots are being warned that if their potential extended bubble “consists of elderly people or people who are clinically vulnerable”, people “may wish to avoid mixing to reduce the risk of passing on the virus”.

People who wish to visit loved ones in care homes, hospitals and hospices over the festive period are being advised to “stay within your own household and not form a bubble with any other household”.

READ MORE: Travel ban exemptions published amid 'legal questions'

Travel restrictions will be lifted across the UK to allow people to move about to form their extended Christmas bubble.

Island travellers won't get extra time

But the guidance sets out that “once you arrive you must follow the rules about travel that apply in that local authority area”.

But those who fail to return home by December 27 could face enforcement action for breaching travel restrictions. The guidance warns that “the only exemption” to Scots not returning home by the end of the festive relaxation period is “where you are delayed as a result of travel disruption or ill-health", which could include having to self-isolate.

If people are travelling by public transport to form their Christmas bubble, they are being advised by the Scottish Government to “book ahead where possible” and “don’t leave it until the last minute”.

Those travelling to the Scottish islands are not being given an extra time outside of the five-day period to make the journey.

Bubbles banned from visiting shops, pubs and restaurants

Scots who have formed an extended household cannot visit shops together, amid a warning that “retail premises could be busier than normal in the days leading up to Christmas”.

Extended bubbles are allowed to gather in a place of worship during the festive period, so long as places of worship limit capacity to rules in the Scottish Government’s tiered system.

Bubbles are also banned from visiting pubs and restaurants and leisure or hospitality venues. Scottish Government guidance adds that “during the Christmas period those who are part of a bubble should not stay in tourist accommodation”.