Brits to told swap Xmas dinner indoors for ‘park picnics’ to stop Covid spread

Brits should swap Christmas dinner indoor for a festive picnic in the park, the World Health Organisation’s chief has said.

Christmas will be "different" this year, Dr Hans Kluge said, but it will still be a merry one if people can brave plunging temperatures.

He told families celebrating outside could be the key to fighting coronavirus and stopping the spread of the virus, while also cherishing those closest to you.

Last Christmas, temperatures plunged to -3C in parts of the UK on Xmas morning, with a sprinkling of snow covering in Scotland and Wales.

Dr Kluge said: "Cherish the festive season with those close to you.

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

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

Dr Kluge also pointed out that religious festivals like Ramadan and Diwali had been celebrated this year with virtual gatherings and "distance celebrations."

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Warning Europe now faces a "tough" six months ahead, Dr Kluge said the continent recorded more than 29,000 new Covid-19 deaths last week.

He said it works out to be "one person dying every 17 seconds."

It comes after Professor of Public Health, Gabriel Scally, warned people could be "burying friends and relations in January and February" if Christmas goes ahead.

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Mr Scally said: "People are talking about needing 25 days of tight restrictions to make up for the five days of jollity over Christmas.

"And it's not just 25 days, that doesn't matter that much compared to the virus spreading and people getting infected.

"There is no point having a very merry Christmas and then burying friends and relations in January and February.

"We need to think very seriously about Christmas and how we're going to spend it. It's too dangerous a time and an opportunity for the virus to spread."

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