Six in 10 Britons spent Christmas 2020 with a smaller group of family because of COVID restrictions

Isabelle KirkData Journalist
December 08, 2021, 3:48 PM UTC

The news that Downing Street allegedly held a Christmas party last year that broke Covid rules has caused outrage among many Britons. At the time, Tier 3 restrictions were in place in London – forbidding people from meeting socially indoors with people who are not in their support bubble or household. Across the country, almost all areas were in Tier 3 or Tier 4.

YouGov data reveals that 58% of Britons spent Christmas Day with a smaller group of family than normal because they were adhering to Covid-19 restrictions. Just 29% spent Christmas with the same number of people they usually did, with another 9% saying they spent Christmas alone but this was normal for them.

Tory and Labour voters were equally likely to have empty seats round the table last year – 61% of Conservative voters and 60% of Labour voters say they spent their Christmas Day with a smaller family group as a result of following restrictions.

Of the people who scaled back their Christmas Day celebrations to follow Covid rules, half (51%) say it was worse to spend it with a smaller group of family than normal, with around a fifth (18%) saying it was ‘much worse’. Just 17% say it was better to have a smaller group due to the restrictions.

For Britons who followed the rules, many had close family members missing from their Christmas Day celebrations.

More than a third (35%) spent Christmas without at least one sibling, while a third (32%) were without a parent, and 28% without a child or children. One in 20 Britons (5%) spent Christmas without their partner because of Covid restrictions.

See the full results here