Boris Johnson can't afford to repeat the government's previous lockdown mistakes

prime minister who loves to announce good news will have some good and bad pre-Christmas tidings when he unveils his “Covid winter plan” in the Commons today. He will offer some comfort, but not much joy.

Boris Johnson, who wants headlines about “saving” Christmas, will be able to announce a temporary relaxation of some coronavirus restrictions for the festive period. Hopefully, they will apply throughout the UK after talks with the devolved administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast; the virus will not respect national boundaries.  

It will still not be a “normal Christmas”, as Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, acknowledged on the Sunday TV shows. But a time-limited easing to allow family gatherings is sensible, since many people would surely have ignored any ban, and would then be more likely to break the rules in future.

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