Quebec is relaxing COVID rules for Christmas. What are other places doing?

Quebec is relaxing COVID rules for Christmas. What are other places doing?

Many governments are struggling with the holiday dilemma, and some are reaching different conclusions than ours.

Author of the article:

David Rudin  •  Montreal Gazette

Publishing date:

Nov 21, 2020  •   •  2 minute read

“We must remember the family is at the heart of who we are, it is at the heart of our nation,” Premier François Legault said. “For me, it’s part of my life. I’m lucky to have a wife, two sons, I want to see them.
“We must remember the family is at the heart of who we are, it is at the heart of our nation,” Premier François Legault said. “For me, it’s part of my life. I’m lucky to have a wife, two sons, I want to see them.” Photo by Paul Chiasson /The Canadian Press

In October, Germany’s Commissioner for Nursing Care advised citizens to celebrate in smaller groups, splitting up their normal gatherings over multiple days in what amount to “shifts.”

Another idea was proposed this week by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for Europe, Dr. Hans Kluge: “Despite the cold, if local restrictions permit, gather outside with loved ones for picnics in the park.”

That might prove challenging in Quebec.

In France, which is currently going through its second COVID-19 lockdown, there is hope some measures might be relaxed in time for the holidays.

However, a government minister recently told Le Monde the Christmas question is “a massive headache.”

Prime Minister Jean Castex said this week it would be “unreasonable” to stage large gatherings and it’s also “a bit early” to put out rules for the festive period.

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Indeed, one crucial difference between Quebec and some other jurisdictions is how early the province has announced its Christmas plans. Premier François Legault said on Tuesday, two days before announcing Quebec’s plan, he wanted to offer some clarity on how many people can be invited so “people who need to prepare their tourtières” can plan.

The same day Legault announced the 10-person policy, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned celebrations will have to be decidedly low key this year.

“Big parties, kisses and hugs will not be possible, this would mean an abrupt rise in the (infection) curve in January,” he said. “We hope that we can still buy and exchange gifts.”

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