UK May Ease Coronavirus Restrictions for Christmas Church Services

The Canterbury Cathedral is the seat of the Cathedral of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primate of All England and religious leader of the Church of England. | (PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/HANS MUSIL)

COVID-19 lockdown restrictions might be eased for Christmas church services in the United Kingdom as part of a newly announced plan.

The new 56-page “COVID-19 Winter Plan” is believed to include a hiatus from the most stringent restrictions during the Christmas period when the current national lockdown ends on Dec. 2. The new policies will be “tiered” with certain areas under more restrictions than others as has been similarly implemented in U.S. states like California.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday the winter plan, which will include guidance on how people will be able to see their families and loved ones for the upcoming holiday despite not being normal by past standards.

“We all want some kind of Christmas, we need it, we certainly feel we deserve it,” he said. “So to allow families to come together, while minimising the risk, we are working with the Devolved Administrations on a special, time-limited Christmas dispensation.”

“I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year,” he noted, “but in a period of adversity, time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and none.”

Johnson noted that the latest lockdown has slowed the growth of new coronavirus cases and thus national restrictions would end on Dec. 2 as planned. “Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume” then, he said, though still limited and socially distanced.

The new proposals will have to be approved by a parliamentary vote and are likely to face opposition from some in Johnson’s own party, the Tories, who believe that though the disease is serious and the spread should be controlled effectively, the government should still “give equal regard to other lethal killers like cancer, dementia and heart disease, to people’s mental health, and all the health implications of poverty and falling GDP,” according to a letter several members wrote to him.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter

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