Christmas is cancelled. Remember when Boris Johnson told Sir Keir Starmer to own up and admit that he wanted to cancel everyone’s plans? That was just a few days ago.
Well, fast forward and the prime minister has issued a new “stay at home” order, covering London and most of the south and east of England, and drastically restricted plans for Christmas mixing, in response to a new, fast-spreading strain of coronavirus.
Despite reassuring the British public that the festive “bubble” plan would go ahead – and claiming it would be “inhuman” to cancel Christmas – the prime minister has done just that, announcing the creation of a stricter set of ‘tier 4’ rules.
Only households outside tier 4 will now be able to mix for Christmas in England – and those households will only be able to do so for Christmas Day, with long-distance travel discouraged.
The new rules come into effect at midnight, and are essentially a repeat of the four-week lockdown in November – meaning non-essential retail, leisure venues and services like hairdressers will not be allowed to open.
“We cannot continue with Christmas as planned,” Johnson said at a hastily-convened Downing Street press conference on Saturday evening.
Watch the interchange here.