Coronavirus: Have Christmas dinner ‘picnics in the park to help stop virus spread’

The World Health Organisation’s regional director for Europe has called for Christmas park trips (Image: Getty Images/Cultura RF)

Our free email newsletter sends you the biggest headlines from news, sport and showbiz

Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email

Brits should opt for a picnic in the park rather than a festive meal indoors this Christmas, a top health expert has said.

Dr Hans Kluge, World Health Organisation regional director for Europe, has urged people to avoid large gatherings indoors this festive period.

Rather than breaking the wishbone over the dining table on Christmas Day, the Belgian has suggested that people should go al-fresco.

He said: "If it's a large gathering of vulnerable people, you may postpone that gathering until you can safely gather.

"Despite the cold, if local restrictions permit, gather outside with loved ones for picnics in the park."

Large gatherings indoor could lead to increased infections
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Read More
Related Articles


  • Queen and Prince Philip open 73rd wedding anniversary card made by George and Charlotte

Read More
Related Articles


  • Princess Diana: MPs consider separate inquiry into Martin Bashir BBC interview

Dr Kluge went on to point out many marked other religious festivals, including the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the Hindu festival Diwali, with virtual gatherings and "distance celebrations".

If Christmas Day this year is anything like 2019's, then a jaunt to the local common may be a challenge.

Last year, temperatures plunged to -3C in parts of the UK on Christmas morning.

Andrew Hayward, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at University College London and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, warned that mixing at Christmas poses "substantial risks", particularly for older people.

He said there had been "far too much emphasis" on having a normal festive period.

This kind of set up should be taken to the park, the WHO health chief said
(Image: Getty Images)

Read More
Related Articles


  • HS2 worker filmed 'kneeling on activist's neck' after he 'catapulted carrots over fence'

Professor Hayward added that the country was "on the cusp" of being able to vaccinate older populations and it would be "tragic" to throw away the gains made in suppressing coronavirus.

He also attacked the Government for "inconsistent" messages over what to do, saying it was clear that if people wanted to avoid Covid-19 they should not mix indoors.

His intervention came after several days of speculation about the festive period.

Central Government is reportedly considering plans to ease restrictions on indoor socialising for five days from December 24.

In return, a tighter lockdown may have to be enforced to stop hospitals from being overloaded by the uptick in infections.

Downing Street said plans for Christmas would be set out next week.

You may also like...