A third of respondents to the Big Corona Study don’t plan to stick to the rules limiting contacts when the celebrating Christmas

The latest Big Corona Study has found a significant number of us don’t plan to stick to the rules limiting social contacts during the forthcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations. The Study that is conducted by the University of Antwerp and a number of other Belgian Universities found that 86% of the 26,000 people that took part in this Tuesday’s online study intended to stick to the rules during the Saint-Nicholas celebration on 6 December. This means that they will do so only with the members of their nuclear family and one so-called “cuddle contact” from outside their home.

However, those saying that they will comply with the current rules if they are still in force on New Year’s Eve is much lower. 25% of those questioned are not certain that they will bring in the New Year only with the people with whom they share their home plus one visitor from outside. 

This figure is lower still regarding Christmas. Just 68% of those surveyed said that they were certain that they would stick to the rules. Young people especially have issues with limiting their social contacts. 40.8% of the 18 to 35-year olds that took part in Tuesday’s survey said that they will not stick to the rules at Christmas. Among young people students are more likely to adhere to the rules with 29.4% of those that took part in the survey saying that they would flout the rules over Christmas.

Officially, the rules that are currently in force don’t cover the Christmas and New Year period. However, in an interview with VRT Television on Wednesday the Federal Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Flemish liberal) said that we will probably have to celebrate Christmas with only those that we share a home with.

Virus experts have already expressed their concerns about what might happen if the rules are relaxed for the festive season or if large numbers of people flout the coronavirus rules over Christmas and the New Year. 

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