Half of Britons are planning a stay-at-home Christmas without friends or relatives outside their immediate family, official surveys found
- Half the country planning a stay-at-home Christmas without friends or relatives
- Plans mean only one in ten families will have friends or relatives stay with them
- Nearly eight out of ten people said they were likely to accept a Covid-19 vaccine
Half the country is planning a stay-at-home Christmas without friends or relatives outside their immediate family, official surveys found yesterday.
The less than convivial Christmas plans mean that only one in ten families will have friends or relatives stay with them, or will spend a night in someone else’s home.
Around a quarter will visit their relatives or friends then go home in the evening. Last year nearly half the population spent some of their Christmas on the motorway but this year only one in seven people intends to carry out a visit which involves a car trip longer than half an hour. Only one in 50 says they will risk going by train.
Half the country is planning a stay-at-home Christmas without friends or relatives outside their immediate family, official surveys found yesterday (file image)
And there is bad news for pubs and restaurants which are outside Tier Three and can remain open during the five-day Christmas Covid amnesty.
Only one in 25 people plan to meet others in pubs or restaurants – a tenth of those that did last year.
The findings, from surveys carried out by the Office for National Statistics last week, suggest that the rules at Christmas will be widely obeyed and that the behaviour of millions will mitigate the risk that the virus will spread dangerously over the holiday.
But it means that many have sacrificed the annual parties and family gatherings that have always been a keystone of the season.
Tim Vizard, of the ONS, said: ‘We found that around half of adults planned to form a Christmas bubble. However we can see that, even before the updated guidance about socialising over Christmas, people were already making significant changes to the way they normally celebrate.
‘This included lower proportions of adults planning to stay overnight with others, travel overseas and travel by public transport compared to last year.’
The surveys found that 50 per cent intended to form a Christmas bubble under the rules which allow mixing of up to three households between December 23 and 27. Around four in ten said they would keep to their usual family bubble and 12 per cent didn’t know.
Some 55 per cent said they would be staying at home for Christmas.
Just over a quarter plan to visit relatives or friends without staying over – half of last year’s figure – and a further 11 per cent will make a visit which involves an overnight stay.
Nearly eight out of ten people said they were likely to accept a Covid vaccine if offered one, with older people most likely to say yes.
Take steps to save family, warns Boris
Families must take action to avoid spreading coronavirus over Christmas, Boris Johnson urged yesterday as medical experts warned that all festive celebrations will have a ‘sprinkling of Covid’.
The Prime Minister said everyone must ‘think about our elderly relatives’ before going to stay with them.
The Prime Minister said everyone must ‘think about our elderly relatives’ before going to stay with them
He added: ‘If you are forming a Christmas bubble, it’s vital that from today you minimise contact with people from outside your household.’
And Dr Katherine Henderson, from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said everyone should be ‘incredibly careful’ and remember that everything has a ‘sprinkling of Covid’ this year.
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