People’s Christmas plans are usually drawn up by the beginning of November, with people booking trips to visit their loved ones and having a date for festive gatherings entered in the calendar.
As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the UK, thoughts are turning to what Christmas will look like this year.
Scientists and politicians are divided on what measures are needed to ensure that Christmas is as normal as possible.
Here is what every nation in Britain is currently saying about what Christmas could look like this year.
While in England the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is responsible for health policy – including social distance, the size of assemblies and other Covid 19 restrictions – in England the Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford and Northern Ireland Prime Minister Arlene Foster each oversee the rules in their respective countries – reports Wales Online.
But this year it is all still up in the air. Large gatherings of people are unlikely for some time, which means that this year’s Christmas party of work is likely to be cancelled.
Sage, the body of scientists advising the government, has warned that the whole of England must fall under the Tier 3 restrictions by mid-December, which destroys Boris Johnson’s hopes of a normal Christmas.
Christmas in England
Experts said today that Christmas may have to be put on hold, and a cabinet minister admitted that it was “too early to say” what restrictions would apply until December.
Wise member Sir Mark Walport said there was “little cause for reassurance” and added: “There are still many people who are at risk”.
According to the “Telegraph”, Downing Street privately expects the second wave of the coronavirus to be more lethal than the first, with fatalities remaining high throughout the winter.
In an interview with the BBC’s “Today” program, the former chief scientific adviser said it was “certainly not unrealistic” to believe that 25,000 people could be hospitalized with Covid by the end of next month.
“But it is too early to say exactly what the situation will be like at Christmas and what the different parts of the country can or cannot do.
Responding to this news this morning, George Eustice, the Minister of the Environment, said: “We want people to be able to celebrate Christmas as normally as possible.
He refused to rule out a possible circuit breaker in November – despite the possibility that this could mean sacrificing the Hindu festival of Diwali to save Christmas.
The news prompted the Shadow Minister of Health, Jonathan Ashworth, to say that the government’s failure to use half its term in office for a circuit breaker meant that it now had to “do something quickly to save Christmas.
He said: “We can never rule anything out, but we believe we have the right approach now.
Jeremy Miles, General Advisor to the Welsh Assembly Government and Minister for European Transition, explained what Christmas could look like at Wednesday’s press conference.
He said: “With regard to what Christmas might look like, the First Minister wants to see the best available version of Christmas that is compatible with people’s security.
Christmas in Wales…