It is unlikely that hospitality venues will be open to all-comers for the festive season, which closes down our options to celebrate Christmas and New Year with family, friends and work colleagues.
If the present lock-down is effective, from 5 November to 2 December, perhaps there will be sufficient elbow room for limited access to restaurants and other hospitality venues as 2020 draws to a close.
Certainly, publicans and restaurant owners will be hoping this is the case as they grapple with the financial consequences of the continuing see-saw of COVID lockdowns and other restrictions.
But if we cannot meet and greet, what other options are there?
We could promote best use of the Trivial Benefits legislation and other tax-free gifts allowed by legislation. What we may not be able to experience, for this year, is the face-to-face company of our co-workers, absent family and friends.
The Government are surely aware that they may need to weigh the effects on the “R” number with the effects on our state of mind if they are tempted to lockdown Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Let us hope that the present close-down to 2 December will provide the necessary brake on infections and that Government and its advisers feel able to let their foot off the COVID brake for long enough that we can have, all-be-it limited, celebrations this year.
A little relief from COVID austerity would be most welcome.