Amid the growing concerns of Covid transmission, the countries around the world are preparing for Christmas. But what will the current guidelines and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic mean for celebrating this December?
Belgium has released a new set of guidelines for its citizens. People can have a few people over their house for Christmas dinner but the government has added a twist in the celebrations.
According to Belgium’s Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden, when inviting some guests to celebrate Christmas in the garden, only one of them is allowed to enter the house to use the toilet. Other visitors cannot go inside the house for any reason including for a drink or food. That means if you really want to go to the toilet, there’s no other option other than returning home.
While the Belgium government has eased the lockdown restrictions in time of Christmas but People can only invite a group if the group is not bigger than four people and the distance and hygiene rules are respected. Additionally, it is mandatory that the gathering must take place outdoors.
The Interior Minister also informed that only people who have a garden or backyard, which can be accessed directly, without walking through the house. “You are not allowed to go through an interior space first, because then there is a risk that many people will be together in a small space,” she added.
Spain is set to allow groups of up to 10 people to gather on five public holidays, including Christmas Day and the Feast of Epiphany on January 6. A curfew will be extended to 1:30 am on these days.
Churches will also remain open in Italy, where local media has reported that people will be asked to follow the “rule of six” but legal limits will not be introduced. Debates about whether to open ski-slopes, however, are becoming increasingly frosty.
Across the continent, countries are trying to ensure Christmas gatherings can proceed in some form while addressing the concern that heightened travel and gatherings could lead to yet another spike in cases.