Coronavirus: Scots told to prepare for ‘digital Christmas’ as large family gatherings ruled out

Clea Skopeliti
·2-min read
Christmas is 'not going to be normal', top scientist says (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Christmas is 'not going to be normal', top scientist says (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

People in Scotland are being told to plan for a “digital Christmas” this year, with large family celebrations ruled out amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A senior adviser to Nicola Sturgeon has said that he hopes that by following the rules, Scots will be able to enjoy "some form of normality" over the holidays.

However, he underlined that typical festive gatherings of multiple households will be “fiction” this year.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch was asked about what the rules around festivities are likely to be.

He said: "Christmas is not going to be normal, there is absolutely no question about that.

"We're not going to have large family groupings with multiple families around, that is fiction for this year.

“I am hopeful, if we can get the numbers down to a certain level, we may be able to get some form of normality.”

Prof Leitch added: "People should get their digital Christmas ready."

Ms Sturgeon had previously said it was too early to plan for the festive period, saying it was too soon to tell if new, strict lockdonw measures were supressing the virus.

She had said the country was in a “very uncertain and unpredictable and volatile situation” and that she did not want to “make definitive predictions about Christmas”, while also acknowledging that non-Christian religious people had not had exemptions made during their festive periods.

Prof Leitch’s update was condemned by opposition politicians, with Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, saying that after “months of sacrifices”, Scots will be "devastated to hear that Christmas as they know it is cancelled".

He said: "Many will rightly question whether the government have used the past six months as well as they could have to expand testing, shore up our NHS and prepare for a second wave.

"If the government expects months more of sacrifices it needs to be honest with the public – Nicola Sturgeon must release the data and projections underpinning these proposals and allow the public to debate them openly."

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