Scrooge scientists warn family get-togethers over Christmas could cost a deadly third wave of Covid in the new year.
The UK Government has allowed Brits to make plans with up to three households between December 23 and 27 but experts have questioned the relaxing of rules.
In an interview, the chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, Prof Devi Sridhar, has asked why Boris Johnson has given the green light for mingling over Christmas when a vaccine rollout is just "weeks away".
Prof Devi Sridhar told The Guardian : "If people [aren’t] cautious, then we will pay for our Christmas parties with January and February lockdowns.
"With a vaccine just weeks away, why risk infecting vulnerable and elderly people we love?"
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Sage member, Professor Susan Mitchie, a psychologist at University College London says the "best thing" to protect loved ones is "not see them".
Fellow Sage member, Professor Stephen Reicher agreed the government is right to allow Brits to make the choice of themselves but warned it is "dangerous".
Professor Linda Bauld, of the University of Edinburgh, has also warned that relaxing Covid restrictions for five days over the Christmas period is a "mistake".
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Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Prof Bauld said: "From a public health perspective, I have to be perfectly honest, I think this is a mistake.
"I think people have to think very carefully whether they can see loved ones outside, or do it in a very modest way.
"I'm also concerned about the travel, people going from high to low-prevalence areas.
"I think it's going to have consequences."
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Authorities across the UK decided that Brits can cross between countries to join Christmas celebrations in bubbles of no more than three households from December 23 to 27.
Hugs will be back on the table within these bubbles after months of coronavirus restrictions banning them.
Restaurant and pub settings cannot be used as meeting spots for groups who can otherwise mix indoors at home or at a place of worship.
Three household bubbles can also meet in an outdoor public location
Anyone required to self-isolate can now do so for just ten days after MPs agreed to reduce the previous two-week rule.
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