COVID-19 REINFECTION

Coronavirus may force French people to sacrifice Christmas

Christmas sales in France are already taking a hit with non-essential shops closed until at least 1 December as the country observes its second nationwide lockdown.
Christmas sales in France are already taking a hit with non-essential shops closed until at least 1 December as the country observes its second nationwide lockdown. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

More than half of French people say they’re ready to give up Christmas with their families this year – as the strain of the coronavirus and associated health restrictions proves simply too challenging.

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Despite rising coronavirus infections in France, Health Minister Olivier Véran has said he hopes to lift the lockdown in time for end-of-year festivities. French people, however, appear more cautious. 

An OpinionWay poll published Wednesday found that 53 percent of respondents are planning to sacrifice the holiday season in order to avoid contaminating their loved ones.

While nearly three-quarters said they would see fewer people over the Christmas period, one in two also plan to buy fewer Christmas gifts compared to last year.

Christmas sales in France are already taking a hit with non-essential shops closed until at least 1 December as the country observes its second nationwide lockdown.

More than half of those surveyed said they were worried about not being able to give gifts to family and friends amid fears of an extended lockdown, while 45 percent of people worried about the associated health risks of shopping for presents.

Despite a rise in online shopping, overall planned spending in France is estimated to be down by 30 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

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