Ministers are under mounting scientific and political pressure to take action on the dreaded “surge” in coronavirus cases linked to Christmas, as Downing Street rejected calls for any measures to mitigate the impact.

Representatives, scholars, and doctors called for a rethink of politics Allow three families to mix Indoors during Christmas, or for schools to take longer breaks during the holidays to curb the spread of Covid, but No 10 said there were no plans for either.

But with cases in London Sharp riseFinki Ramakrishnan, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist and chair of the scientific body of the Royal Society, who recently left, has warned of the expected consequences, and infection rates have remained high in many other places.

France It reopened nonessential stores this month, allowing Christmas shopping to begin. But the slight increase in new infections since then means that while travel is permitted from December 15th, a nationwide curfew will start from 8 PM to 7 AM after that it will be lifted on December 24, but not on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve. New. Bars and restaurants will not reopen until January, and private gatherings will be restricted to six adults.

Germany The “light lockdown” has been extended until early January, but amid a record high in injuries and deaths, it may have to stop further before Christmas – perhaps allowing people to leave their homes just for fundamental reasons and store closures from December 21. Private meetings are currently limited to five meetings, which should be increased to 10 from December 23 to January 1, but this may change.

AustriaStrict closure ends this month. The country is implementing a mass program of 10 million tests over the next two weeks with the goal of allowing more families to be reunited during the holiday period. Christmas markets are canceled.

Italy Inter-regional travel ban from December 20 to January 6, except for work, health or emergency reasons, and Italians may not leave their cities on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day. Midnight Mass will be offered on December 24 so worshipers can return home before the curfew in the country from 10 PM to 5 AM, and people coming from European Union countries must submit a negative test.

Spain People appealed to be responsible, but movement between regions would be permitted for “family reasons” between December 23 and January 6. The regional curfew, which runs from 10 pm until midnight, will be delayed to 1.30 am on December 24 and 31, as the maximum for gatherings will be raised from 6 to 10, a measure that will also apply on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. New.

Authorities in Netherlands He said current restrictions will not be eased over Christmas and may be strengthened if infections rise. The number of guests for Christmas dinner will be limited to three (except for under 13 years old); Cafes, bars and restaurants will remain closed except for fast food; Non-essential stores must close at 8 PM and non-essential travel is not recommended.

Belgium He said families might only have close contact with one extra person over the Christmas period, although people who live alone will be allowed to meet two more people. Fireworks will be banned on New Year’s Eve to limit gatherings.

Poland People will only be allowed to spend Christmas with their immediate family, with no more than five guests per family invited until at least December 27 and travel is prohibited outside of their home towns.

John Henley Europe Correspondent

He told the Guardian: “I understand the emotional need of families, but from a public health standpoint, loosening the rules for Christmas is just a recipe for further spread of the virus.”

“At a time when vaccines seem so promising, I think it is no exaggeration to ask people to exercise restraint this Christmas. I myself have not seen my children or grandchildren in over a year because they live in the United States, and I do not expect that until we are vaccinated or are The infection rates are very low. “

Ramakrishnan stressed that he is not seeking “to be a directive about that myself” with regard to the rules, adding, “This is for the government. I think if the restrictions are eased as planned, and people take advantage of the loosening rules, it will lead to another increase at a very bad time.” .

While plans for home mixing of up to five days over Christmas are across the UK (or seven days for Northern Ireland), Welsh Minister of Health, Vaughan Githing, said this could change in Wales.

Asked at a news conference on Monday whether Wells could revisit the Four Nations approach to Christmas, Githing said: “You can never say never … nothing off the table. It depends on the choices each of us have.” Ready to be taken. “

Downing Street said there are no plans to revise the Christmas guidelines or keep schools closed longer.

Labor on Monday called on the government to determine how they planned to avoid the National Health Service coming under heavy pressure in January.

“Areas that are growing in general are rising faster than decreasing areas,” Jonathan Ashura, the health minister in the shadows, said Matt Hancock, the health minister, in a public exchange on London relocation decision And some neighboring areas are at the highest level of coronavirus restrictions.

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“As is the case now, we are heading towards the comfort of Christmas as the elevation area shrinks. The buffer zone these levels were supposed to provide is becoming much thinner.”

Sam Everington, a general practitioner in Tower Hamlets, east London, who heads the capital’s health commission, said schools are particularly concerned in terms of the virus spreading among students and then passing it on to older relatives at home.

He told the BBC: “We need to think very seriously about Christmas and New Year.” “Everyone needs to think seriously about the risks that more than one family pose.”

Coronavirus cases in the UK

Boris Johnson also faces opposition from Conservative House of Representatives. Former Conservative Defense Secretary Tobias Ellwood asked Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons to review the Christmas plan, “so we’re not starting the new year with a third wave.”

“2020 has been the most tested year for years, and 2021 should be different because of this vaccine. My concern is that giving up our guard for five days over Christmas could be very dangerous indeed,” said Ellwood.

Stephen Hammond, an MP for Wimbledon in southwest London, has separately called for urgent action on school transmission.

He told BBC Radio 4: “I’ve seen for at least a week now, looking at our local area, that schools should have closed last Friday.” “With only three days left until the end of the semester, we must make this decision today.

“I also think we should think hard about how quickly they should open after Christmas, and maybe about two weeks of online learning.”

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However, Hammond did not discuss changing the Christmas rules, saying that this should be a “personal decision.”

He said, “I think a lot of people would probably decide now, in fact, that they don’t want to take the risk. So I think a lot of people will make that decision themselves, and I think that’s probably the right way.”