WHO warns people against gathering at Christmas as it is ‘not worth the risk’

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has appealed to people to stay home during the holiday season as it is "not worth the risk" of catching Covid-19.

With more than two-thirds of England's population to be living under Tier 3 measures from Saturday as the UK Government tries to stem rising infections, WHO said "the safest thing to do right now is to remain at home".

The organisation's regional director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge said: "There remains a difference between what you are being permitted to do by your authorities and what you should do."

In a statement, he said: "We have a few more months of sacrifice ahead and can behave now in a way that collectively we are proud of. When we look back at these unprecedented times, I hope we all felt we acted with a spirit of shared humanity to protect those in need."

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Coronavirus impacts Britain
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Coronavirus impacts Britain
A woman waits at a bus stop with a billboard showing a government message to observe the coronavirus restrictions in St Helen's, northwest England on January 18, 2021. - Britain on January 18 extended its coronavirus vaccination campaign to people over the age of 70, and new tougher restrictions for all arrivals to the country came into force. Since the innoculation campaign began on December 8, more than 3.8 million people have received a first dose of vaccine against the virus that has infected 3.4 million people in the UK and claimed more than 89,000 lives. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the Air Ambulance, wearing face coverings, leave the helipad after arriving by helicopter at Frimley Park Hospital, in Frimley, west of London on January 18, 2021. - Britain on January 18 extended its coronavirus vaccination campaign to people over the age of 70, and new tougher restrictions for all arrivals to the country came into force. Since the innoculation campaign began on December 8, more than 3.8 million people have received a first dose of vaccine against the virus that has infected 3.4 million people in the UK and claimed more than 89,000 lives. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the quality control laboratory at Oxford BioMedica where batches of the Oxford/Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine are tested as part of the manufacturing process in Oxford on January 18, 2021. (Photo by Heathcliff O'Malley / POOL / AFP) (Photo by HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
BOSTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: An Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine is prepared at the Princess Royal Sports Arena on January 18, 2021 in Boston, England. Ten new mass vaccination centres will start administering covid-19 vaccines in England this week, joining seven existing "hubs," as well as the hospitals and GP practices enlisted in the nationwide effort to give 15 million people a first dose by February 15. (Photo by Darren Staples/Getty Images)
A person walks past a sign telling people to wear a face mask in Nottingham during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. Picture date: Monday January 18, 2021. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)
People walk along the pier in Bournemouth, Dorset, during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
People on the sea front in Brighton during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Police on patrol in Hyde Park, London, during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
Back lights of driving cars are seen on a long shutter speed as they pass huge advertising boards that thank the National Health Service, or NHS in London, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 during England's third national lockdown since the coronavirus outbreak began. The U.K. is under an indefinite national lockdown to curb the spread of the new variant, with nonessential shops, gyms and hairdressers closed, most people working from home and schools largely offering remote learning. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A man walks past an NHS Mural in Loughborough, Leicestershire, during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)
Young men in protective face masks are seen by the Thames River, London Eye as the UK's government introduced strict Coronavirus restrictions earlier this month due to sharp increase in numbers of Covid-19 cases in the UK - London, England on January 15, 2021. Under the new regulations exercising and going to work are exceptions for Stay at Home policy. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is prepared by a health worker at Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, before being administered to members of the public. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nurses hold their hands up to signify a free bay, as members of the public receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
Members of the public at Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire, to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 14: National Health Service (NHS) staff demanding pay raise stage a protest outside Downing Street in London, England on January 14, 2021. As coronavirus death toll reaches over 100.000, health system in UK is reportedly under extraordinary pressure. (Photo by Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Shuttered shops are seen along deserted streets in the City of London on January 15, 2021, during the third coronavirus lockdown. - Britain's economy slumped 2.6 percent in November on coronavirus restrictions, official data showed January 15, 2021, stoking fears that the current virus lockdown could spark a double-dip recession. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Inside one of the storage units at the overflow mortuary at Breakspear Crematorium in Ruislip, London which will provide an additional 20% in capacity for public mortuaries in London, helping to relieve pressure on hospitals and council-run morgues. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
A public coronavirus information sign is surrounded by snow in Auchendinny, Midlothian. Heavy snow and freezing rain is set to batter the UK this week, with warnings issued over potential power cuts and travel delays. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man wearing a face mask walks past an advertising board in London, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Only a few people use the escalator at a tube station in London, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A jogger exercises on the banks of the river Thames with the backdrop of Tower Bridge in London, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A Deliveroo cycle courier rides past COVID-19 information boards in Liverpool, on January 13, 2021, as non-essential retailers keep their shops closed, due to England's third lockdown. - Britain's interior minister on Tuesday warned that anyone flouting coronavirus lockdown rules would face action from the police, as the government vowed to step up enforcement measures to cut surging infection rates that risk overwhelming health services. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Lee Ullha receives an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the Depaul UK homeless shelter in Oldham, Greater Manchester. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Shoppers in Brixton, south London, during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)
A Union flag flies from a building on Ludgate Hill in central London as Britain is in its third lockdown due to the coronavirus on January 12, 2021. - People who flout coronavirus lockdown rules are putting lives at risk, the British government said today, as cases surge to record highs and rumours swirl of potentially tougher restrictions. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the public arrive to receive their injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up at the Millennium Point centre in Birmingham. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
A shopper wearing a face mask enters a Sainsbury's store in south east London. Supermarkets are being called on to revert to more stringent in-store coronavirus measures with members of the public urged to respect regulations when out grocery shopping. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
An empty carriage on the Jubilee Line underground train during the morning rush hour in London, as England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus continues. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Commuters on the concourse at Waterloo Station during the morning rush hour in London, as England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus continues. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
People walk across Millennium bridge in central London as Britain is in its third lockdown due to the coronavirus on January 12, 2021. - People who flout coronavirus lockdown rules are putting lives at risk, the British government said today, as cases surge to record highs and rumours swirl of potentially tougher restrictions. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Rita Passey receives her injection of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine at the new Millennium Point NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Centre on 11th January 2021 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. This coronavirus vaccination centre which is one of the first in the UK with the aim to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February will administer 600 vaccines on it's opening day, rising to 1200 on the following days and approximately 2500 per day as of the second week. Customers all receive a letter and can come to the vaccine centre from a 45 mile radius. Once in the vaccine lane they are asked health related questions and asked to give consent to being vaccinated after being advised of any possible side effects. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)
Police officers arrest a member of the public at an anti lockdown protest held by The Scotland Against Lockdown group outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland on January 11, 2021. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Paramedics and hospital staff attend to a patient outside the Royal London Hospital in London. A "major incident" was declared by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan last week warning that the spread of coronavirus threatens to "overwhelm" the capital's hospitals. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: People queue outside the mass NHS Covid-19 vaccine centre that has been set up at the Millennium Point centre in Birmingham on January 11, 2021 in Birmingham, England. The location is one of several mass vaccination centres in England to open to the public this week. The UK aims to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: A general view of the mass vaccination centre at Ashton Gate Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Bristol, England. The location is one of several mass vaccination centres in England to open to the public this week. The UK aims to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Member of staff erect signs outside the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up at the Life Science Centre International Centre for Life in Newcastle. The centre is one of the seven mass vaccination centres which now opened to the general public as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
CROSBY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: The Tottenham Hotspur bench watch the match in-front of surrounding houses during the FA Cup Third Round match between Marine and Tottenham Hotspur at Rossett Park on January 10, 2021 in Crosby, England. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
LEWES, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: A general view on a frosty cold morning of Convent Field as a member of the public plays football on his own at an empty football pitch on January 10, 2021 in Lewes, East Sussex. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Paramedics tidy up an ambulance wearing PPE outside the Royal London hospital in London on January 10, 2021 as surging cases of the novel coronavirus are placing health services under increasing pressure. - Medical chiefs in England raced to boost treatment capacity on January 10 as a surge in coronavirus cases risked overwhelming hospitals, even as the government stepped up its mass inoculation campaign. A leaked briefing suggested that London's hospitals were on the brink of running out of beds, endangering the lives of patients needing critical care. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
CROSBY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur speaks to the media as he is interviewed pitch side after the FA Cup Third Round match between Marine and Tottenham Hotspur at Rossett Park on January 10, 2021 in Crosby, England. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: A pedestrian wearing a mask walk past a Kensington and Chelsea community notice displayed outside Town Hall in Kensington, where symptom-free coronavirus tests are available on January 10, 2021 in London, England. England is expanding rapid "lateral flow" testing across all 317 local authorities, prioritising people who cannot work from home. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: An air Ambulance arrives at The Royal London Hospital in London, U.K., on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a major incident in the U.K. capital on Friday and warned the state-run National Health Service is at risk of being overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus cases. (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: Paramedics push a patient from an ambulance into The Royal London Hospital in London, U.K., on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a major incident in the U.K. capital on Friday and warned the state-run National Health Service is at risk of being overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus cases. (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A young man wearing a face mask waits beside government messaging telling people to stay at home, displayed at a bus stop in Whitechapel in London, England, on January 9, 2021. England began a third national lockdown on Tuesday in a bid to stem coronavirus transmission across the country. In the capital, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday declared a 'major incident' for the city over coronavirus pressures, warning that hospitals could soon be overwhelmed with patients with covid-19. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 9: Police detain several anti lockdown protestors in Brockwell park Brixton whom had initially gathered near Windrush square before heading into the park on January 9, 2021 in London, England. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has filmed an advert for HM Government warning that people should stay home as the COVID-19 virus is spreading across the country. Despite these warnings the protest group StandUpX are demonstrating against coronavirus lockdown measures and vaccines. ( Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
Ambulances outside the Royal London Hospital, after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan declared a "major incident" as the spread of coronavirus threatens to "overwhelm" the capital's hospitals. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
HYDE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08: A woman sits in her car as she is administered the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination centre at Hyde Leisure Centre on January 08, 2021 in Hyde, England. The coronavirus drive-through vaccine centre is believed to be the first in the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 09: Elodie, a young resident, wears a mask as she rides her bike, on January 09, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. According to reports, Queensland has recorded no new cases of coronavirus overnight as Brisbane residents remain under lockdown. Greater Brisbane is under a three-day lockdown until 6 pm on Monday, January 12 after a cleaner working at one of the city's quarantine hotels tested positive for a new variant of the Covid-19 strain that originated in the UK. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)
A couple wear face coverings as they stroll past illuminated trees on the Southbank in London, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A man wearing a face covering walks past the London Eye in London, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Ellen Prosser, known as Nell, who is 100 years old, receives the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Dr Nikki Kanani at the Sunrise Care Home in London, as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination program. (Kirsty O'Connor/Pool Photo via AP)
An advert shows the word 'Hope' at an unusually quiet Piccadilly Circus, in the normally busy tourist and sightseeing area of London, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
People outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, Thursday Jan. 7, 2021, join in applause during the nationwide Clap for Heroes event to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the latest lockdown. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)
The London Eye on the bank of the River Thames is lit with blue lights to show support for the NHS in London, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Buildings across the country are being lit with blue lights to thank the work by NHS staff in caring for people during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A woman wearing a face mask, walks across Westminster Bridge past the Houses of Parliament in London, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Police officers detain a protestor during an anti-COVID-19 lockdown demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on January 6, 2021. - Britain toughened its coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, with England and Scotland going into lockdown and shutting schools, as surging cases have added to fears of a new virus variant. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Police officers attempt to detain a protestor and his dog during an anti-COVID-19 lockdown demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on January 6, 2021. - Britain toughened its coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, with England and Scotland going into lockdown and shutting schools, as surging cases have added to fears of a new virus variant. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
People walk by coronavirus-themed graffiti on Meriden Street in Birmingham. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
A few shoppers at Bullring Open Market in Birmingham, England, Wednesday Jan. 6, 2021, as food stalls are permitted to remain open during the latest lockdown restrictions. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Jacob King/PA via AP)
Workers sit amongst empty market stalls in Leeds, northern England on January 6, 2021, on the second day of Britain's national lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19. - Britain toughened its coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, with England and Scotland going into lockdown and shutting schools, as surging cases have added to fears of a new virus variant. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman runs past some graffiti in Edinburgh, the morning after stricter COVID-19 lockdown measures came into force for mainland Scotland, Tuesday Jan. 5, 2021. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04: Evie the bulldog looks out of a front window as children Eryn, Ewen, Gwen, Emily and Olivia watch Prime Minister Boris Johnson make a televised announcement on January 04, 2021 in Manchester, England. The Prime Minister announced tougher Covid-19 measures following a sharp increase of cases, driven in part by a new variant of the virus that officials say is more infectious. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
A family in Knutsford, Cheshire, watch Prime Minister Boris Johnson making a televised address to the nation from 10 Downing Street, London, setting out new emergency measures to control the spread of coronavirus in England. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 05: Ambulances line up as a government sponsored electronic sign gives out coronavirus pandemic information to visitors and staff at the Aintree University Hospital on January 05, 2021 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. British Prime Minister Johnson made a national television address on Monday evening announcing England is to enter its third coronavirus lockdown within a year. On Monday the UK recorded more than 50,000 new confirmed Covid cases for the seventh day in a row. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A quiet Piccadilly Circus, London, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
IMAGE PIXELATED BY PA PICTURE DESK Paramedics transfer a patient from an ambulance into Southend University hospital in Essex, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: A sign warning of the rising cases of Coronavirus on January 05, 2021 in London, England. British Prime Minister made a national television address on Monday evening announcing England is to enter its third coronavirus lockdown of the year. On Monday the UK recorded more than 50,000 new confirmed Covid cases for the seventh day in a row. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A man walks by an almost deserted Victoria Square in Birmingham during the first day of the new national lockdown. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures, during a visit to view the vaccination programme at the Chase Farm Hospital in north London, Monday Jan. 4, 2021, part of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Johnson warned Sunday that more onerous lockdown restrictions in England are likely in the coming weeks as the country reels from a coronavirus variant that has pushed infection rates to their highest recorded levels. (Stefan Rousseau/Pool Photo via AP)
82-year-old Brian Pinker receives the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Sam Foster at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. Pinker, a retired maintenance manager received the first injection of the new vaccine developed by between Oxford University and drug giant AstraZeneca. (Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 04: Members of the public walk through a deserted Edinburgh City Centre on January 4, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Scottish Parliament will be recalled this afternoon to consider further coronavirus measure in an attempt to tackle the rapid increase in cases. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Practice Sister Tina Sutton (L) hands over an information leaflet after administering a dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to Derek Davies Games at the Pontcae Medical Practice in Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales on January 4, 2021. - Britain on Monday began rolling out the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, a possible game-changer in fighting the disease worldwide. (Photo by Geoff Caddick / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images)
Naomi Carpenter, a 20-year-old sports rehab student at Hull University, takes a swab for a lateral flow Covid-19 test at the campus sports facilities on January 4, 2021, as students return to the university. - Britain -- one of the worst-affected countries by the global health crisis, with more than 75,000 deaths -- is pinning its hopes on the jab as the mainstay of its mass vaccination drive. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
John Murphy CEO of Oasis Community Learning unboxes gloves at Oasis Academy Coulsdon in Coulsdon, south London. A mass testing programme is being executed in schools across England to safely accept pupils back into the classroom. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Pupils arrive at Manor Park School and Nursery in Knutsford, Cheshire, as schools across England return after the Christmas break. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
A view of a poster informing on Coronavirus safety measures outside Floreat Wandsworth Primary School in Wandsworth as primary schools across London and the south east of England will remain closed until January 18 due to high coronavirus infection rates, on 03 January 2021 in London, England. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Paramedics wheel a patient into the Royal London Hospital in east London on January 3, 2021. - The British prime minister said on January 3 he was "reconciled" to the prospect of tougher restrictions to combat spiralling coronavirus cases. Health Services are under increasing pressure after record levels of daily lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 has led to more patients being treated in hospital in England than during the initial peak of the outbreak in April. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Ambulances are seen outside the Emergency Department of St Thomas' Hospital in London on January 3, 2021. - The British prime minister said on January 3 he was "reconciled" to the prospect of tougher restrictions to combat spiralling coronavirus cases. Health Services are under increasing pressure after record levels of daily lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 has led to more patients being treated in hospital in England than during the initial peak of the outbreak in April. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Ambulances parked outside the ExCeL in east London which is the site of one of a number of Nightingale hospitals prepared last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and which the NHS says is being reactivated and made ready to admit patients as hospitals in the capital struggle as Covid patients numbers rise. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Embargoed to 1630 Saturday January 2, 2021 Assistant Technical Officer Lukasz Najdrowski unpacks doses of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as they arrive at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, West Sussex.
Police patrol Barry Island, Wales, which usually draws crowds for the New Year day swim, but is relatively empty as the country is in Level four of its coronavirus restrictions, the highest level available, due to the surge in coronavirus cases.
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 01: Members of the public brave cold waters in River Forth to take a New Year dip in front of the Forth Rail Bridge on January 1, 2021 in South Queensferry. Restrictions have been placed on many new year festivities around the world including the annual Loony Dook as countries attempt to curb spikes in new coronavirus cases. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON / UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 1:Two women celebrate the new year in front of the Big Ben in London, England on January 1 2021. London Mayor Sadiq Khan cancelled the show and the celebrations this new years eve. (Photo by Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Fireworks and drones illuminate the night sky over London as they form a light display as London's normal New Year's Eve fireworks display was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON / UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 1: Big Ben shows the arrival of the new year in London, England on January 1 2021. London Mayor Sadiq Khan cancelled the show and the celebrations this new years eve. (Photo by Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A man wearing a face covering walks past graffiti on the Lower Newtownards Road in Belfast with a message reading 'Wear a mask, it hasn't gone away you know'. (Photo by Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mounted Police officers attempt to disperse crowds gathered near Westminster Bridge in London, Britain, 31 December 2020. The government is discouraging people from celebrating New Years Eve and urging them to stay home as coronavirus cases in the UK continue to surge. (Photo by Maciek Musialek/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 31: Two people wearing protective face masks walk down an empty St. Mary's Street on December 31 in Cardiff, Wales. Wales went into a Level 4 lockdown from midnight on December 19. All non-essential shops have closed and people have been advised to stay home in a bid to curb the infection rates in one of the worst hit areas of the UK. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 31: A couple pose for a friend's photograph as they hold a sparkler in front of the London Eye, in what would normally be a ticket-only area filled to capacity waiting for the annual fireworks display, on December 31, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. New Year's Eve Celebrations have been curtailed in the UK this year dues to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. With most of the UK in tiers three and four, socialising is off limits. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 31: Police officers speak to two revellers near to the London Eye on December 31, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. New Year's Eve Celebrations have been curtailed in the UK this year dues to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. With most of the UK in tiers three and four, socialising is off limits. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Christmas lights adorn trees in a deserted street in the centre of Edinburgh on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2020, as authorities hope people stay at home and do not come to celebrate Hogmanay this year in the city. - The streets of Scotland's capital are normally packed at Hogmanay, as people from around the world flock to see in the New Year in raucous style. As with so much else, the coronavirus outbreak has put paid the celebrations, putting Scots in a gloomy mood made worse by Britain's parting of the ways with Europe. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Revellers enjoy a night out in central Liverpool, northwest England, on December 30, 2020 before hightened Tier 3 restrictions closing hospitality venues, and bars indoor and outdoor socialising between households are imposed in the city amid surging cases of the novel coronavirus. - Tighter coronavirus restrictions will be extended across England from on December 30 the British government announced, with a new Covid-19 variant blamed for a rapid surge in cases. Liverpool enters Tier 3, which closes hospitality venues, and bars indoor and outdoor socialising between households with the highest Tier 4 rules, which require all non-essential shops, hairdressers as well as leisure and entertainment venues to close, will now apply to more than 44 million people. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Note to eds: picture has been pixelated by PA Picture Desk to protect identity of patient. A patient arrives by ambulance at Southend University hospital in Essex. Hospitals in the county have declared a major incident and local authorities, concerned about the number of Covid-19 cases, have asked for military help to increase hospital capacity, with fears over critical care, bed capacity and staff sickness. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/12/30: A lady wearing a face mask a preventive measure against the spread of covid 19.walks on the street. As daily Covid19 infection rate hits record high in London, the government is pinning its hopes on the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab. (Photo by Pietro Recchia/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/12/30: General view of an empty and deserted Camden High Street, London. Most businesses and shops remain closed as much of England moves into Tier 4 restrictions and the UK sees a record number of coronavirus cases. (Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A man wearing a face mask walks past a sign in a shop window, as further changes to England's tier system are expected to be announced, just days after millions of people came under harsher coronavirus restrictions on Boxing Day. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
A woman reads a copy of the Silent Patient by author Alex Michaelides as she queues at an NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in London on December 30, 2020 as cases of the virus continue to soar and the Government raises restrictions around the country. - Britain on December 30 became the first country in the world to approve AstraZeneca and Oxford University's low-cost Covid vaccine, raising hopes it will help tackle surging cases and ease pressure on creaking health services. As daily Covid infection rates hit record highs, the government is pinning its hopes on the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, which is cheaper to produce, and easier to store and transport. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
People queue at an NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in London on December 30, 2020 as cases of the virus continue to soar and the Government raises restrictions around the country. - Britain on December 30 became the first country in the world to approve AstraZeneca and Oxford University's low-cost Covid vaccine, raising hopes it will help tackle surging cases and ease pressure on creaking health services. As daily Covid infection rates hit record highs, the government is pinning its hopes on the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, which is cheaper to produce, and easier to store and transport. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: A lady wearing a mask rides a sledges down a hill in on December 29, 2020 in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, England. Heavy snow fall has covered the West Midlands as the Met Office has issued yellow warnings throughout the day. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
A traffic information board as traffic flows on the M80 near Banknock, Scotland after severe lockdown restrictions were announced for December and January with all of the country moving into the highest level of lockdown from Boxing Day. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
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It comes as Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, warned relaxing coronavirus restrictions over Christmas could lead to an "unrelenting tsunami" of cases.

"After a difficult year, it is everybody's instinct to want to be together and see loved ones – especially those who live far apart or feel isolated. But what is at stake is coming into sharp focus," she said.

"Travelling and family visits associated with this time of year will undoubtedly lead to more cases, more pressure on NHS and care services, and more deaths. By turning the second and third waves into an unrelenting tsunami, we would begin 2021 in the worst possible way."

She said nurses would not enjoy Christmas "knowing what awaits them in January" and called on the Government to be "clearer about the risks – not just the rules", warning: "This virus isn't taking Christmas off and nor should we."

Dr Kluge said the pandemic's "devastation" had hit communities across Europe.

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UK prepares for Christmas
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UK prepares for Christmas
A man wearing a Santa Claus costume in the dug out ahead of the Sky Bet League Two match at Blundell Park, Grimsby. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Christmas decorations outside The Dome in George Street, Edinburgh. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
General view of the Christmas tree at a quiet Covent Garden Piazza, in central London, which is currently under Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled Christmas for almost 18 million people across London and eastern and south-east England following warnings from scientists of the rapid spread of the new variant of coronavirus. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man dressed as Santa Claus waves to baby Emma (no last name given) from a cherry picker outside Leeds Children's Hospital in Yorkshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man dressed as Santa Claus kneels outside the building as he speaks to Darcie Jones, aged 8, through an open doorway as he visits patients at Leeds Children's Hospital. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
SALISBURY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: A Big Issue seller dressed as Santa Claus is seen on December 21, 2020 in Salisbury, England. A new strain of the Covid-19 virus has led to France closing ports to British goods for 48 hours from Sunday night. This has led to a number of UK supermarkets warning of potential food shortages just a few days before Christmas. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
ABERBEEG, WALES - DECEMBER 21: A general view of a garden centre and Christmas tree stockiest which has now had to stop trading as part of the Covid Trading restrictions on December 21, 2020 in Aberbeeg, Wales. The Welsh Government has announced a new lockdown over the Christmas Period in a bid to reduce the increase of the new strain of Coronavirus (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
Shoppers in the centre of Bristol, as people in Tier 2 areas of coronavirus restrictions continue with their Christmas preparations. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 16 EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Left to right) Bonnie the Springer Spaniel and Lola the Cavapoo, receive Christmas gifts at Woofs A Daisy pet shop in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey to celebrate the American Express Shop Small campaign.
EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 16 EDITORIAL USE ONLY Yoda the Pekingese, receives Christmas gifts at Woofs A Daisy pet shop in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey to celebrate the American Express Shop Small campaign.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: A young fan in an Everton Christmas Jumper celebrates their victory during the Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on December 12, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. A limited number of spectators (2000) are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)
Maja-Isobel Lawson looks up at illuminated lanterns depicting the Mad Hatter's tea party, the sculptures form part of the enchanting Alice in Winterland Christmas Lights Trail at Lightwater Valley in North Yorkshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Choristers sing during a photo call as the St Paul's Cathedral Choristers prepare for their first livestreamed Christmas concert at St Paul's Cathedral in London on December 14, 2020. - Due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions on numbers of visitors to the Cathedral St Paul's is livestreamning their Christmas concerts for the first time. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Shoppers take a selfie outside a window display on Oxford Street, in central London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (wearing a paw print design face mask) decorates a Christmas Tree, with a corgi dog decoration, as she visits Battersea Dogs Home to open the new kennels and thank the centre's staff and supporters on December 9, 2020 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Pool)
Larry the 10 Downing Street cat stalks a pigeon near the CHristmas tree in Downing Street in central London on December 9, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen are to meet in Brussels on Wednesday to try to break the deadlock in Brexit trade talks. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Visitors to Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, Scotland, enjoy the illuminations installed in the Safari Park's new 'World of Dinosaur' exhibit. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
HAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: Sophie, Countess of Wessex visits the Shooting Star Children's Hospices charity shop to help it prepare for Christmas on December 9, 2020 in Hampton, England. (Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: A man dressed as Santa Claus attends a demonstration against the current Covid-19 restrictions in Hyde Park on December 5, 2020 in London, England. London has been in Tier 2 restrictions since the lockdown ended on December 2. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
CHARLESTOWN, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Eight year-old Bellami Smit visits the festive Tunnel of Lights at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum on December 3, 2020 in Charlestown, England. The tunnel is Europe"u2019s longest underground tunnel of festive lights. (Photo by Hugh Hastings/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: 'Festive Wishes from the Savoy' a brand new golden well of wishes, where visitors can drop in their wishes as part of the new festive charity initiative, part of the Christmas decorations at The Savoy Hotel on December 03, 2020 in London, England. Making a wish requires a minimum donation of £5 with proceeds being shared equally between two charities, Hospitality Action and The Connection at St Martin in the Fields. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
A contractor uses a cherrypicker to place final decorations on a 40ft Christmas tree during a photo call in the courtyard of Somerset House in London on December 3, 2020. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Two year old Antoin McCready walking through The Jailhouse Christmas Magic on Joy's Entry in Belfast with his mother Patricia Williamson. (Photo by Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: General Manager, James Keogh of The Churchill Arms poses outside his pub after turning on their 2020 Christmas lights on December 2, 2020 in London, England. Many Christmas events have been cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic but London is festooned with Christmas Lights across the capital. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/Getty Images)
BERWICK-UPON-TWEED, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meet staff and pupils from Holy Trinity Church of England First School as part of their working visits across the UK ahead of the Christmas holidays on December 7, 2020 in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, United Kingdom. During the tour William and Kate will visit communities, outstanding individuals and key workers to thank them for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Andy Commins - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
An empty Christmas market on a quiet evening in Nottingham city centre. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Churchill Arms pub in London switches on its Christmas lights. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Shoppers walk under the Christmas lights on Regents Street in London on December 6, 2020. - Shoppers returned to Englands high streets this week as shops reopened following the end of a four-week coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Hollie Adams / AFP) (Photo by HOLLIE ADAMS/AFP via Getty Images)
The Christmas tree lit up on a quiet evening in Nottingham city centre. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)
Shoppers walk under the Christmas lights on Regents Street in London on December 6, 2020. - Shoppers returned to Englands high streets this week as shops reopened following the end of a four-week coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Hollie Adams / AFP) (Photo by HOLLIE ADAMS/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the Canterbury Cathedral GirlsÕ Choir prepare to film the last of three pre-recorded online carol services which will be available to viewers on the cathedral website over the Christmas period. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 05, 2020 - Christmas lights on Regent Street- PHOTOGRAPH BY Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 05, 2020 - Christmas lights on Regent Street- PHOTOGRAPH BY Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: People walk in front of the Christmas tree in Covent Garden on December 5, 2020 in London, England. On Tuesday night, Dec 1, MPs voted in favour of government proposals to enter England into a tiered system of lockdown beginning at midnight. Residents of Tier Two - High Alert can socialise with anyone they live with or who is in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. Outdoors they must observe the rule of six. Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals and must close between 11pm and 5am with last orders called at 10pm. Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with. Schools remain open. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: People take a selfie in front of the Christmas tree in Covent Garden on December 5, 2020 in London, England. On Tuesday night, Dec 1, MPs voted in favour of government proposals to enter England into a tiered system of lockdown beginning at midnight. Residents of Tier Two - High Alert can socialise with anyone they live with or who is in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. Outdoors they must observe the rule of six. Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals and must close between 11pm and 5am with last orders called at 10pm. Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with. Schools remain open. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
Shoppers fill a temporarily-pedestrianised Regent Street in London, England, on December 5, 2020. London has returned to so-called Tier 2 or 'high alert' coronavirus restrictions since the end of the four-week, England-wide lockdown last Wednesday, meaning a reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality businesses as the festive season gets underway. Rules under all three of England's tiers have been strengthened from before the November lockdown, however, with pubs and restaurants most severely impacted. In London's West End, meanwhile, Oxford Street and Regent Street were both packed with Christmas shoppers this afternoon, with the retail sector hoping for a strong end to one of its most difficult years. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Dame Joan Collins attends the Burlington Arcade Christmas Lights switch on at Burlington Arcade on December 5, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, Dec. 4, 2020 -- People wearing face masks stand next to Christmas trees in London, Britain, on Dec. 4, 2020. Another 16,298 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,690,432, according to official figures released Friday. The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 504 to 60,617, the data showed. (Photo by Han Yan/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Han Yan via Getty Images)
AYLESBURY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Light installations entertain visitors during 'Christmas at Waddesdon' at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, on December 04, 2020 in Aylesbury, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)
Farmer and artist Fleur Baxter with the Christmas character artworks she has created using hay bales on her farm in Carmyllie, Angus. Fleur, who has been nicknamed 'Balesy' by locals, allows members of the public to visit the bales in return for donations to the local food bank. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Christmas lights called 'The Spirit of Christmas' lilluminate Regent Street on December 4, 2020 in London, England. Many Christmas events have been cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic but London is festooned with Christmas Lights across the capital. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Christmas light installation on South Molton Street near Bond Street station on December 2, 2020 in London, England. Many Christmas events have been cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic but London is festooned with Christmas Lights across the capital. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 04: A general view of an empty Christmas market bar on the Hayes on December 4, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. Following a firebreak period that ran from October 23 to November 9 the Welsh Government have introduced new rules which will prevent pubs, restaurants and cafes from selling alcohol at any time from 6pm on Friday. The rules will be reviewed on December 17. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
People protesting against Norway's whaling industry stand in front of the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square, London. The tree is an annual gift to Britain from Norway given as a symbol of friendship and co-operation between the two countries. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Dave Baptie works in the snow at the Hill End Christmas Tree Centre near Edinburgh. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/12/03: Dickensian theme to the decorations outside J Sheekey restaurant. Christmas Decorations around London as most retail and hospitality venues are open and looking forward to the rest of the festive season. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/12/03: View of the reindeer stables outside The Ivy Chelsea Garden. The Ivy Chelsea Garden has transformed itself into Santa's Grotto for Christmas. The trendy eatery along the King's Road has had a festive makeover with the installation including Santas mailroom, reindeer stables, Christmas tree, decorations and Santas sleigh. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Shoppers wearing face masks queue to enter a homeware store on Regent Street in London, England, on December 4, 2020. London has returned to so-called Tier 2 or 'high alert' coronavirus restrictions since the end of the four-week, England-wide lockdown on Wednesday, meaning a reopening of non-essential shops and hospitality businesses as the festive season gets underway. Rules under all three of England's tiers have been strengthened from before the November lockdown, however, with pubs and restaurants most severely impacted. In London's West End, Oxford Street and Regent Street were both busy with Christmas shoppers this afternoon, meanwhile, with the retail sector hoping for a strong end to one of its most difficult years. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/12/03: A member of staff wearing a mask posts a wish into the golden wishing well. The Savoy Hotel has reopened and launched a new Christmas charity initiative - Festive Wishes. Launched as the hotel showcases its famous Christmas decorations, The Savoy will grant wishes rewarding kindness and in doing so support two key charities, namely Hospitality Action and The Connection at St Martin in the Fields. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/12/03: View of a Christmas tree in the courtyard. London's hub of creative arts, Somerset House reopens after the end of the second coronavirus lockdown and unveils its 2020 Christmas tree along with some pop up dining domes, forming a new festive foodie experience. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
ST AUSTELL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Musician Tamsin Robinson rehearses for a live performance of festive music under the Christmas lights installation in the Mediterranean biome at the Eden Project on December 3, 2020 in St Austell, England. (Photo by Hugh Hastings/Getty Images)
ST AUSTELL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: A view of a display amongst the Christmas lights installation in the Mediterranean biome at the Eden Project on December 3, 2020 in St Austell, England. (Photo by Hugh Hastings/Getty Images)
Members of the public drive through the yard at Carters Green farm which is hosting a Christmas light display in Weston, near Crewe, England on December 3, 2020. - Fundraiser Graham Witter organises the annual display at his home in memory of his sister Jessica who passed away in 2015 but has adapted the event due to Covid restrictions. Visitors usually are able to walk around the farmyard and admire the lights. This year they are driving through a starlit garden and enjoying the display form inside their cars. Graham has raised more than £100,000 for a children's hospice running the event for the past seven years. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
CHARLESTOWN, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Eight year-old Bellami Smit visits the festive Tunnel of Lights at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum on December 3, 2020 in Charlestown, England. The tunnel is Europe"u2019s longest underground tunnel of festive lights. (Photo by Hugh Hastings/Getty Images)
CREWE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Cars drive past the Weston Christmas light display on December 03, 2020 in Crewe, England. Graham Witter and his family are hosting a drive-through Christmas lights display event at their family home to help raise money for the Donna Louise charity in memory of Graham's sister. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
CREWE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: A person takes a photograph during the Weston Christmas light display on December 03, 2020 in Crewe, England. Graham Witter and his family host a drive-through Christmas lights display event at their family home, helping to raise money for the Donna Louise charity in memory of Grahams sister. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
The Manor is seen illuminated at a photo call for the annual 'winter light' Christmas displays at Waddesdon Manor in Aylesbury, north west of London, on December 3, 2020. (Photo by BEN STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
People pose for a photograph in front of the illuminated Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square in central London on December 3, 2020. - The tree is an annual gift to Britain from Norway given as a symbol of friendship and co-operation between the two countries. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Fiona Fallows checks on a Christmas tree, crafted entirely from books, at the National Trust's Polesden Lacey, an Edwardian house and estate at Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
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"Covid-19 has forced families and communities apart, bankrupted businesses, and deprived people of opportunities that a year ago were taken for granted," he said.

"From anxieties around virus transmission, the psychological impact of lockdowns and self-isolation, to the effects of unemployment, financial worries and social exclusion – the mental health impact of the pandemic will be long term and far reaching.

"What has resulted is a growing mental health crisis in Europe."

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