Europe pushes to rescue Christmas despite sacrifice of other religions
2020 has not been a festive year for Europe, but as it comes to an end, many governments across the continent are scrambling to avoid stringent lockdowns during the Christmas season.
2020 has been far from festive, but as the year comes to an end, many of Europe's governments are scrambling to avoid stringent lockdowns over the Christmas holidays.
The push to save the celebration comes despite the fact that other religious festivals -- including Christian ones -- have been marked in a muted fashion in recent months.
The UK government on Tuesday unveiled plans to temporarily relax coronavirus restrictions for five days, from December 23 to 27, allowing up to three households to celebrate together in "Christmas bubbles." This means small groups of family and friends will be able meet in person for what may be the first time in months.
England is currently under its second national lockdown and the UK as a whole has recorded more than 1.5 million Covid-19 cases.
"This year, Christmas will be different," said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. "Many of us are longing to spend time with family and friends, irrespective of our faith or background, and yet we cannot throw caution to the wind. The virus doesn't know that it's Christmas."
The previous day, Johnson cautioned that while the festive period may be "the season to be jolly ... it is also the season to be jolly careful, especially with elderly relatives."