England’s national lockdown will end on December 2, the Government has again insisted.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told Andrew Marr the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had been clear on this.

So what can we expect afterwards?

Despite hopeful news about promising vaccines, we’re not going to experience a normal Christmas.

It’s being widely reported the PM will discuss life after lockdown with his cabinet today (November 22).

He’s expected to announce a return to local virus rules next week, under what is being called the ‘Covid winter plan’.

Salisbury Journal: Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked on Wednesday about the return of fans to grounds amid the coronavirus pandemic

What they could mean for us isn’t yet known for sure, but a few clues are emerging.

Wiltshire has only experienced the lowest local restrictions so far – tier 1 – apart from when the whole country has been in a national lockdown.

The previous tier system of local rules at a glance:

  • Medium / Tier 1: Rule of six if meeting indoors or outdoors; pubs and restaurants shut at 10pm
  • High / Tier 2: No household mixing indoors; rule of six applies outdoors; pubs and restaurants shut at 10pm
  • Very high / Tier 3: No household mixing indoors or in some outdoor spaces; pubs and bars not serving meals are closed

Here are four changes we could see after lockdown:

1 – Tougher rules under local ‘tiers’

One thing the Government has suggested is that when the local tiers do come back, they will be tougher.

That might mean something more restrictive than the rule of six, at least until the immediate period around Christmas.

The Government might also choose to place more areas into higher tiers, or to restrict indoor mixing more harshly.

An academic prediction suggests Wiltshire could a 'hotspot' for the virus after lockdown - which might lead to out area facing stricter rules.

2 – An end to 10pm curfew in pubs

While last orders will still be called at 10pm, people will be given an extra hour until 11pm to finish food and drink, it’s being reported.

3 – Christmas bubbles

Families from different households may be allowed to form ‘bubbles’ for the festive season, between December 22 and 28, according to a report by The Telegraph.

The newspaper dubbed it a ‘week of freedom’ in time for Christmas.

4 – Social distancing to continue

There is no chance of a completely normal Christmas time, without social distancing.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, warned in the last week this would be the case.

We’re not going to magically see the return of normal queuing, or see stickers on the floor of shops advising you to stay two metres apart disappear.

But what remains to be announced, and the Government is reportedly discussing behind the scenes, is the rules and advice for families at Christmas.

Things as specific as whether or not a grandparent can hug their grandchild may need official answers to guide how people behave in December.

The public need to know the risks to themselves and others.