WORLD Health Organisation (WHO) Director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and several leaders have warned against throwing cautions to the wind in the name of celebrating Christmas this season.
This is coming as the first Christmas in a coronavirus world draws near, with governments urging people to rein themselves in to stop another deadly wave of the pandemic.
According to the World Health director, “the best gift anyone could give is the gift of health.”
On her part, Chancellor Merkel called on Germans to limit socialising in case it ends up being the last Christmas with the grandparents.
According to Merkel, the sacrifices do not end there; compatriots should try to forego mulled wine and waffles at the country’s beloved Christmas markets.
She added that only close family members should get together, and only then if people limit their contacts for the previous week.
Source says Germany, which is closing schools and non-essential shops from tomorrow will essentially outlaw traditional mulled wine stands by also banning the sale of alcohol in public places.
In a similar vein, Canada’s Manitoban Prime Minister, Brian Pallister was even more forthright as he warned Canadian citizens to start preparation for Christmas without the usual fanfare.
“I’m the guy who’s stealing Christmas to keep you safe,” said the Manitoban Prime Minister as he warned people to stay at home.
“If you don’t think that COVID-19 is real right now, you’re an idiot,” he added.
Belgium and Luxembourg have taken one of the toughest lines, asking their citizens to limit Christmas to one guest per household, or two for people who are living alone.
In the US which saw infections rocket after the Thanksgiving holiday, the Centers for Disease Control said the safest way to celebrate is to celebrate at home with the people who live together, while appealling to people not to travel.
Meanwhile, just across the border in Quebec, the authorities revoked their decision to allow people to gather for four days over Christmas after infections spiralled.
In France, no more than six adults would be allowed around a table, authourity says.
In another vein, Britain, where the Queen, 94 will not be leaving Windsor Castle, families are permitted to get together so long as no more than three households are involved.
Italy has effectively banned travel between regions from December 21 to January 6, with still tighter controls for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on local travel. A curfew will also be in force.
Belgium and Luxembourg will also have curfews. Only Christmas Eve, the night that families and friends traditionally celebrate Christmas will escape France’s even tighter night-time curfew which normally starts at 8 pm.