West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, issued a statement on Wednesday addressing the enforcement of coronavirus restrictions over the fast-approaching Christmas period.
In an approach which garnered the unexpected criticism of This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield, Commissioner Jamieson reaffirmed that West Midlands Police, who serve Coventry, will on Christmas Day “continue to enforce the rules appropriately and proportionately.”
He noted that, “after all the virus won’t be aware of the date.”
Schofield told viewers of his morning television show, “David Jamieson says police will investigate gatherings over the festive period and even enter people’s homes if they’re breaking the rule of six.”
He comically continued, “burst in the door, ‘granny, put down the broad sauce, I’m afraid you have to go home.”
The police’s approach remains fairly unclear, despite the Commissioner’s statement, but with tier two restrictions currently banning households mixing indoors, unless an exception is made in law, typical Christmas Day plans could be cancelled.
Under the current rules, small households could host outdoor festive get-togethers, but more likely families will exchange virtual gifts over Zoom.
Commissioner Jamieson himself admitted, “it would be very helpful for the government to set out clear guidance for the Christmas period to avoid any doubt”, adding that the current mixed messaging “risks undermining public confidence.”
With discussion of Christmas Day at the forefront in recent days, many have admitted they will break the rules to be with their families.
Presenter Victoria Derbyshire told the Radio Times her family of seven knew the risks and would be “sensible” but “we have to be together at Christmas”.
However, she later apologised over Twitter and said her comments had been “wrong” and “hypothetical”.
A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said it was the Prime Minister’s “ambition” for people to celebrate Christmas with their families, adding that he is “hopeful” that “some aspects of our lives” could be “back to normal” by then.
But a scientific adviser to the government warned without taking action a normal Christmas was “wishful thinking in the extreme”.