Social gatherings limited to groups of six have not been given an end date, meaning large family dinners at Christmas may be illegal this year.
The current rules, along with the social distancing measures in place, also mean office parties are most likely off the cards in 2020.
Boris Johnson said it was “too early to say” if there was any hope that the rules would change in time for the festive season when he announced the rule of six.
Health secretary Matt Hancock was also apprehensive when asked whether families would be able to celebrate together during the winter break, replying: “Not necessarily.”
With COVID cases still on the rise, there is also uncertainty around midnight Mass, pantomimes and New Year’s Eve celebrations – and would mean millions spending Christmas apart from their loved ones.