Nearly one in three plan to celebrate Christmas with a larger group
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Nearly one in three plan to celebrate Christmas with a larger group

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Almost one in three Belgians plan to celebrate Christmas with a larger group, the latest results of the great coronavirus study have shown.

Participants of the ongoing study were asked whether they would adhere to the rule of celebrating within the family, which has the possibility of adding one so-called cuddle contact at a variety of dates over the holiday period.

  • 86% said they would do so during Sinterklass.
  • 75% said they would do so during New Year’s Eve.
  • 68%  said they would do so during Christmas.

This means that almost a third are open to the possibility of celebrating 25 December in a larger group. This statistic grows worse with 18-35-year-olds, where the percentage rises to 41%, the study of 26,000 people found.

Within this category of young people, however, students are doing remarkably better: 29.4% of them say that they will not follow the current rules.

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Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has highlighted that the country will likely be celebrating Christmas with only immediate family members, suggesting no impending relaxation of rules to any great extent.

“By Christmas, the coronavirus will still be there and people won’t have been vaccinated either,” De Croo told the talk show Vandaag on Wednesday. “The holidays are a period of being together and sharing beautiful memories. Surely we are not going to do that at a time when we are still dangerous to each other? Christmas this year will definitely not be the same as it used to be”.

Currently, no official decision has been made on Christmas in Belgium. The closest interpretation would be the so-called ‘cuddle contacts’ – which would allow one additional contact into the homes at a time.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times