‘My heart says yes, my head says no way’ – shoppers divided on Christmas mixing


Shoppers in one South Yorkshire town are split on what the rules around households mixing at Christmas should be.

While some of the people questioned at Doncaster's market on Wednesday by the PA news agency believe the Government should ban all households from mixing, others said they will see their families whatever the Prime Minister decides.

George and Sandra Stanger, both 71, said they will not be seeing their children and labelled the Government's policy as an "absolute disaster waiting to happen", as they bought groceries from the market.

Mrs Stanger said: "We're stopping at home on our own and we think everybody else should.

"The scenario is that you put three families together, it can soon add up to 20 people.

"They're all working and some of the children are at school and then all coming into one group.

"It's just an absolute disaster waiting to happen again. We're never going to get rid of it at this rate.

"What he's (Mr Johnson) doing is just sitting on the fence."

She added: "Even if they say 'no Christmas' there'll be people who still do it, but if they do say 'no Christmas' perhaps 40% won't.

"The groups will be far too big."

Her husband said: "It just needs sorting out one way or another. Just make a decision – we're not looking forward to a third lockdown"

But Jayne Porter, also from Doncaster, said: "I don't care what the Government says, I am seeing my grandkids and my kids this Christmas morning.

"If they change their mind, I will still see them. I will not miss seeing my grandkids and my kids this Christmas."

Asked what the reaction will be if the rules are changed, Ms Porter said: "Everyone will ignore it because they want to see their families.

Also in Doncaster market, Lancelot Wallace, 70, said: "They're going to mix together anyway, because it's Christmas. If the Government did turn round and say Christmas is not here, it's going to be like watching one of those old movies – No More Father Christmas.

"I've got 17 grandkids. Is that what they're going to say if they cancel it: no more Father Christmas for kids?

"They're going to mix anyway."

Mr Wallace said he will be spending Christmas Day with just his wife, but added: "I think everybody wants to enjoy Christmas and I think everyone should get on and enjoy Christmas"

And one man in the market, who only wanted to be known as Elvis, said: "It's going to be a bleak Christmas."

In Ely in Cambridgeshire, Ian Dewis, 76, of Fordham near Colchester, said: "My heart tells me that we should (be allowed to meet up at Christmas), but my head says no way.

"I think we've sacrificed almost nine months and I think we're going to ruin it with a third spike.

"So quite clearly my view is: Put up with the sadness of not being together with your loved ones, but by about May we will all have been vaccinated and we'll have a great time together."

However, John Simmons, who lives alone, said people should be able to meet up over the festive period.

"I think you've just got to do it within reason," said the 63-year-old, of Ely.

"I'm hopefully going to have Christmas Day with four other people from three families, but it's not a big gathering.

"I think that's the thing, you don't want sort-of 60 people getting together from three different families

"Although I like being on my own I've never been totally alone on Christmas Day and I think that does bring it home to you.

"I was looking at the prospect of being on my own on Christmas Day and I thought 'I don't really fancy that very much', so I was quite pleased to be invited somewhere."

Uwin Gunaratna said the Government has taken a "really good approach" by allowing three households to form a festive bubble, while urging people to exercise caution.

"I mean there's supposed to be some sort of festivity," said the Ely 24-year-old, of Ely.

"But people should also understand how to look after themselves, it's their responsibility at the end of the day."

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