South Yorkshire Police boss wants Christmas Rules to be tightened

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Easing restrictions over Christmas to allow different households to mix is ‘a relaxation too far’, according to South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Dr Alan Billings reiterated his opposition to the Government’s plan to allow up to three households to visit each other for five days from 23 to 27 December amid growing calls for the rules to be tightened over the festive period.

He said: “I can see that the government is under pressure to give us a bit of cheer at Christmas, but it would be a mistake to throw away what we have gained for the sake of a few days with family and friends.

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"There will be other Christmases. There are times when leadership requires us to do what is right and not what is popular."

Dr Alan Billings - Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire.Dr Alan Billings - Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire.
Dr Alan Billings - Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire.

Two weeks ago, Dr Billings spoke of his worry that ‘by relaxing the rules at Christmas and allowing more social mixing, we may be laying up trouble for ourselves in the New Year, when hospitals are in any case always facing winter pressures’.

In a blog post published yesterday, he said he is ‘more sure of that than ever, because we are still a long way from having most of the population vaccinated’.

Dr Billings continued: “I believe, therefore, that this is a relaxation too far.”

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Both the Health Service Journal and British Medical Journal described lifting the restrictions as ‘rash’.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said families can ‘choose to do less’ than what is allowed under restrictions provided by the Government for Christmas.

Government sources have said the rules are ‘unlikely to change’.

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