Warning that Christmas will not be normal despite lockdown ending

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned that “Christmas will not be normal this year”.

England is preparing to move from lockdown to a reinforced three-tier system of local coronavirus restrictions next month.

Boris Johnson will detail his “Winter Covid Plan” on Monday, outlining the restrictions that will replace the national lockdown on December 2nd and how people can spend the festive season.

Downing Street said more areas are expected to enter higher tiers over the next month and those tiers will be reinforced to safeguard the gains made during the four-week lockdown. However, it is assumed that the curfew on pubs and restaurants will change at 10pm.

Mr Sunak said the localized tiered system was a “far better way” to crack down on Covid-19 as he confirmed the prime minister’s plans, which are expected to be approved by the cabinet on Sunday.

He said, “I find it frustrating how it is for all of us that Christmas isn’t going to be normal this year.

“But that is to say, the Prime Minister and everyone else, we are looking for ways to see how families can spend some quality time together during the Christmas season.

“Of course that’s something we’d like to do and it’s been a difficult year for all of us, but as I said, this year won’t be a normal Christmas.”

He confirmed to the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC that curfew for pubs and restaurants “is definitely something we think about”.

The Prime Minister is believed to be preparing to unveil a plan so that while the final orders have to be received by 10 p.m., people have an extra hour to finish their food and drinks, with hours going up 11 p.m. have to be extended.

Mr Johnson will announce full plans for the winter at the House of Commons on Monday.


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