Will Matt Hancock steal Christmas?

Government plans to ‘save’ Christmas could end up destroying it.


Topics Politics UK

The prospect of a normal Christmas is receding.

Ministers will announce an end-of-lockdown package next week. Despite Boris Johnson’s promise to return to the local, tiered lockdown system on 2 December, it is looking likely that a ban on household mixing may be in place until shortly before Christmas. In other words, lockdown may continue beyond its original end-date.

And what about Christmas itself? Ministers are considering lifting some restrictions for a period of five days. This would allow household mixing in ‘bubbles’ from Christmas Eve.

Christmas saved? Hardly. For most people, the Christmas period does not start bang on 24 December and end five days later. To remain in some form of lockdown right up until Christmas Eve, and be plunged back into it again before the new year, would make the festive period unrecognisable.

And yet, the British Medical Association has gone further than the government. It has called for new rules to be in place when England leaves lockdown, which it wants to last over the Christmas period. It wants the Rule of Six to be replaced with a ban on three or more households mixing. And it has also proposed a ban on travel between areas under different tiers of restrictions. So much for family gatherings, then.

Last month, a police and crime commissioner said police might enter homes to break up family Christmas gatherings. And TV presenter and journalist Victoria Derbyshire was scorned and shamed for suggesting she would break the Rule of Six to see her relatives over the festive period. But she was only saying what millions of others were thinking: seeing loved ones at Christmas is more important than whatever particular rules may be in place.

All this sums up the absurdity of our Covid police-state. How have we got to a stage where we need the state’s permission to see our families and celebrate our most important holiday?

Picture by: Getty.

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