How to Celebrate Christmas during COVID
by freelance writer Riley Herder
The Coronavirus is no friend of holidays. That’s been proven again and again ever since countries around the world endured their first Easter under lockdown. Since then, many have wondered how to plan for the biggest holiday season of the year. Unfortunately, there is still not much of a clear answer.
A few weeks ago, the Rule of 6 was imposed in the UK, which prohibits gatherings of more than six people for any reason, punishable by a £200 fine, and which excludes households already containing more than six. As of now, it is still difficult to say to what degree the imposed rule has affected the containment of the Coronavirus, or how long it is here to stay, but it seems uncertain at best that the rule will be lifted in time for Christmas.
What Are the Rules?
- Any gathering of more than six people in England is illegal, unless it meets one of the exemptions.
- This applies to gatherings both indoors and outdoors.
- The rule does not apply to households or bubbles of more than six, or gatherings for work or education.
- Weddings will be capped to a maximum of 15 guests, funerals however will be allowed to admit 30 visitors.
- All adult team sport events can only now have six players.
- People will be fined £200 for a first offence if they break the rule of six.
- Covid-secure "marshals" will be hired to monitor that rules are being followed.
While it is indeed unclear how long these restrictions will stay in place, it is essential to stay up to date and monitor closely how they vary in your region from others. But in a sense, such tight restrictions are in place so that Christmas can happen, or at least a more normal version of it.
How to Celebrate
If you are part of a large family or group of friends that traditionally gathers in one place for the holiday, whether a private residence or a public establishment, things will quite simply be different this year. While it may be tempting to purchase those plane tickets in hopes that things could turn around, it is advised to err on the side of caution, and not assume that things could dramatically change for the better in time for Christmas.
Instead, focus on making plans that can exist within the rule of six, and be willing to be creative. We are all undoubtedly tired of online birthday parties and virtual cocktail hours, but video chat at Christmas time might just be the only way to gather everybody together this season. It shouldn’t be ruled out, at least.
When you do gather in person, remember to exercise safe practices such as social distancing, wearing a face covering and frequently washing your hands.
What About Gifts?
Government officials and store owners alike are urging shoppers to do as much shopping online as you can to cut down on spread risks in busy shopping centres.
In short, this holiday season will be anything but normal, and the quicker we make fresh plans and adapt, the more at ease we can be when the holidays are here.
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