FAMILIES across England could be allowed to mix indoors for a five-day period over Christmas under new rules, it has been reported.

Ministers are understood to be looking at allowing households to meet over a period covering Christmas Eve right through to Bank Holiday Monday.

It comes as national lockdown restrictions are set to end on December 2, but the three-tier local lockdown system will return to the country.

In the North-East, the director of Public Health in County Durham warned residents to stick to the rules to prevent being placed under the strictest tier once lockdown ends.

SEE MORE: Council explains why Covid cases have risen in County Durham

But it has today been reported that the Government is looking at plans to allow the mixing of households in indoors settings over the festive period.

It is also understood that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to ease Covid rules to allow families to mix.

However, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said it was not yet clear whether such plans would be possible.

Speaking to the BBC today, he said: “I want to have my mum and dad around, I want to have members of my family around that Christmas table.

“I just think it’s too early to be reaching any conclusions on that. What none of us knows right now is what the infection rate is going to be in different parts of the country.”

If the plans are successful, it is thought that households that choose to link up will be unlikely to be able to mix with others outside that grouping during the celebrations.

Downing Street has not confirmed any of the measures under consideration.

But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We are looking at ways to ensure that people can spend time with close family over Christmas at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year.”