Govt scientists mocked for saying families can celebrate Christmas in summer

Government scientists have been mocked for telling families they can celebrate Christmas in the summer.

The barmy idea is found in new documents from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

Others included telling families not to hug and swap get-togethers with firework displays to stop coronavirus spreading.

Darren Mawdsley, of London, said on Facebook: "Oh here’s an idea. Why don’t we have winter in summer, summer in autumn, autumn in spring? We should also have night when it’s day and day when it’s night."

Royal Mail worker Tracy Parker added: "I'll just run that by the grandchildren and get back to you."

Annemarie Shelton, of Essex, said: "There’s something seriously wrong with people who think these things up."

Florin Dajbog added: "Boy he’s a not so smart scientist. Nobody can cancel Christmas, even if you do it on your own."

Paul Eiken, of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, said: "Whoever this scientist he may be good in his field but he certainly does not understand the human mind and the need for hope in dark days."

And Ron Wiltshire, of Sheffield, said: "And that explains why some people don’t believe a word Covid scientists say."

Boris Johnson insists England’s second national lockdown won't be extended beyond December 2 but Downing Street hasn’t ruled it out.

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Sage's paper, titled "positive strategies for sustaining adherence to infection control behaviours," includes a number of ways people can adapt their lives to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus, the Metro reports.

It also advises ministers to suggest "less risky" alternatives when announcing clampdowns on forms of social interactions, in a bid to keep the public’s anger and depression at bay.

The scientists say: "If people find it emotionally or practically impossible to avoid making contact with someone outside their household then they should be encouraged to make meeting that person as safe as possible.

"For example by self-quarantining before meeting (reducing contact with other people as far as possible for 14 days) and avoiding close and prolonged contact when meeting."

The paper also suggests that holding activities outdoors with social distancing, such as "fireworks or doorstep celebrations to replace indoor celebrations," will help reduce the spread.

It also proposes greeting loved ones with a "hand over heart gesture" instead of embracing.

Another paper from Sage suggests giving youngsters free mobile phone data, streaming services and video games in order to encourage them to follow restrictions.

It said recent research shows adherence to the rules among those aged 18 to 29 is substantially lower than other age groups and is in decline.

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