How much lockdown is Christmas worth?

The British government is planning to lift the coronavirus restrictions now in force for five days over Christmas. Up to four households will be allowed to celebrate together indoors, according to the plan. This would then be followed by a 25-day lockdown in January, according to the formula "One day of relaxation, five days of lockdown".

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The Times (GB) /

Festive madness

The Times finds the idea completely absurd:

“There is nothing Christmassy about the idea that to have five days of 'freedom', we must then endure 25 days of lockdown. And that would be in January, not exactly a cheery time of year anyway. But this was the message from Public Health England this week in a press conference which Scrooge himself could have orchestrated. ... For months we have been told that mixing households spreads the virus. So do we just park that info for five days of jollity? It's crackers, isn't it? You don't need to be a spy to see that 'freedom' can be viewed as code for 'giving someone Covid'.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Old enough to decide for ourselves

The Daily Telegraph, on the other hand, welcomes the government's trust in the people:

“Christmas is important for religious reasons, of course, and for family life - after several months of being separated, many look forward to reunion as essential to their mental health. Economically, the country needs the business: the winter season will be make or break for many enterprises. ... Mr Johnson’s instinct is to trust the people - so, give us clarity, give us advice, and then leave friends and relatives to judge their own levels of risk and to manage things for themselves. This is a nation of adults.”