COVID: Conte calls for 'sober' Xmas

No Xmas or New Year's Eve parties or hugs but we can trade gifts

(ANSA) - ROME, 19 NOV - Premier Giuseppe Conte on Thursday called on Italians to observe a "sober" Christmas, saying that excessive gatherings and celebrations risked pushing up the COVID contagion curve.
    "At Christmas we must already prepare to spend the festivities in a more sober way: Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve parties, celebrations, kisses and hugs are not possible," the premier told the municipalities association ANCI.
    "Above and beyond the scientific evaluations, common sense is needed.
    "A week of untrammeled social interaction would mean paying in January a brusque rise in the curve, in terms of deaths, ans stress on intensive care wards.
    "We cannot afford it.
    "We must prepare for a more sober Christmas, although I think we can exchange gifts and help the economy grow.
    Conte has repeatedly warned against letting holiday festivities boost the COVID infection rate.
    He has called for smaller gatherings, while saying that saying spirituality was a private thing that should not be marked in groups.
    "We will consider the epidemiological curve that we'll have in December but we must not identify Christmas only with shopping, presents and boosting the economy," said the premier.
    "Christmas, whatever your religious faith, is certainly also a moment of private spiritual worship.
    "It is not a good thing to do private spiritual reflection with a lot of other people".
    Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia, for his part, said Xmas should be celebrated only among "the closest family members". (ANSA).


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