In the U.K., Johnson resists ‘canceling’ Christmas to stem the coronavirus.


In a yr of arduous selections about find out how to confront the coronavirus, maybe none has proved as anguished for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as whether or not to ban folks in Britain from getting collectively for slightly Christmas cheer.

For weeks, British tabloids have speculated that Mr. Johnson can be pressured to “cancel Christmas.” Some famous that he would the primary British chief to take action since Oliver Cromwell tried to stamp out Yuletide merrymaking in the course of the ascetic days of the Puritan motion within the mid-Seventeenth century.

On Wednesday, Mr. Johnson caught by his pledge to raise some key restrictions for a couple of treasured days between Dec. 23 and 27 — a call that attests to his deep-seated need to not be seen because the Ebenezer Scrooge of Downing Avenue, in addition to to the atavistic enchantment of the Christmas vacation on this in any other case secular nation.

Mr. Johnson has not wavered even after new instances surged in London, which prompted the federal government to place the capital beneath stricter guidelines between now and Dec. 23. Nor has he backed down after two British medical journals warned of potentially dire consequences of easing the measures over Christmas

“The Christmas debate has actually introduced out the argument between those that consider it’s all about stopping deaths and people who consider there must be different issues,” mentioned Jonathan Sumption, a historian and former justice on Britain’s Supreme Courtroom who’s a vocal critic of the lockdowns.