Coronavirus lockdown restrictions could be relaxed for a week can families can enjoy some festive freedom – but tough measures might have to remain in place until then.

England's current national lockdown is due to end on December 2 but strict measures look like staying in place until December 22.

Under new Government plans, families will be able to form a bubble between December 22 and 28 but only if the public sticks to the rules until then, The Telegraph reports.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's expected announcement would allow relatives to come together for a few days without having to snub one grandparent for another.

Public Health England officials have already warned that "five days of tighter restrictions" are needed to compensate for every day of relaxed measures.

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A Christmas week 'off' from coronavirus rules could then result in another 25 day lockdown starting in the New Year.

Addressing the nation on Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Britain is “heading in the right direction” and the second wave peak is “flattening” as another 20,252 more cases and 511 new deaths were recorded.

Speaking at Downing Street's Covid-19 press conference, he added: “These figures are promising and they show the second peak is flattening.

"We are clearly near the peak of this second increase and the second wave.

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"If the regulator approves a vaccine we will be ready to start the vaccination next month with the bulk of the rollout next year."

The Health Secretary said pharmaceutical company Pfizer has already started supplying data for its vaccine, with more to come in the next few days which he described as "another important step forward.”

He added: "We're heading in the right direction but there is still a long way to go."

Ministers are due to announce a new system of regional restrictions next week for the period after the national lockdown ends on December 2.

To prevent a sudden rise in infections when lockdown in England is lifted, Government scientists are pushing for the three-tier system to be strengthened.

But Mr Johnson wants to let families to come together over Christmas "at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year".

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