It ended on Thursday December 3rd when the City of London and all its 32 boroughs were included in the ‘tier 2’ category according to the National classification of Covid-19 potential danger areas.
The United Kingdom is currently divided into 3 tiers from tier 1 being medium danger to tier 3 being very high danger.
Being in tier 2 London is now considered high danger.
This means that the capital will continue to be an area monitored carefully to avoid an excessive spread of the coronavirus, but at the same time it will offer its population to meet outside the home even if they are not members of the same family up to a maximum of six people at a time, non-essential shops can open again, people are allowed to do outdoor sports activities even in groups, and you can take part in cultural events while respecting social distancing.
Londoners are also advised to use public transport only for essential journeys to avoid crowding the buses and the trains.
Pubs and restaurants will be open, as will be the gyms but a 10pm curfew will be in effect.
Non-essential shops were allowed to open again for Christmas shopping in tier 2
In short, London is going back to a sort of ‘normalcy’ in view of the upcoming Christmas holidays which, in addition to representing a moment of general relaxation, are also an opportunity for the businesses of the capital to be able to recover a little after months of inactivity and deep financial crisis, especially in the field of hospitality and retail shopping.
Obviously, although the holiday season is approaching, the atmosphere is certainly a lot different here in London this year: no skating rinks full of people ice-skating merrily next to one another, no winter wonderland crowded rides and attractions, no friends hugging on the streets, no busy Christmas markets or similar typical things we once gave for granted.
It is not possible to visit a nursing home for example so it is really sad to think that some old people will not be able to receive visits from their children and grandchildren for Christmas and this makes me very sad whenever I think about that.
There is a TV show here in England to which people can send a short video and then the people from the show somehow organize with the nurses of the nursing homes to show the video to the family members or vice versa the people hosted in the nursing homes make a video for their families outside and they show it on TV so they can surprise them.
But the good news, among so many downers, is that Santa Claus will not have to wear a face mask in England during the upcoming Christmas holidays!
You will ask… What does it mean?
It means that everyone will have to wear a mask and respect social distancing, except for Santa and this was officially communicated by a spokesman for Downing Street, explaining that special guidelines have been provided for Santas in department stores and shopping centres so that children meeting Santa Claus will still be able to live a magical experience, even this year.
Health guidelines will still be followed, Santas will be tested and checked for temperature and symptoms and so will be the children taking photos with them.
Furthermore, although Santa will be able to take a photo with the kids, this year he will need to stand next to the children without holding them on his knees or without touching them in any way.