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Covid-19: 'Too early' for Christmas plans and Kim Kardashian 'tone deaf'

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Wednesday evening. We'll have another update for you tomorrow morning.

1. 'Too early' to make Christmas plans

This morning we told you that opposition parties were calling for coronavirus rules to be the same across all four UK nations this Christmas. Well, with just over eight weeks to go until the big day, it appears Santa Claus and the rest of the UK will have to wait a bit longer before knowing whether they can mix with other households over the festive season. Environment Secretary George Eustice has said "it's too early to say" what Covid rules will be in place by then, but he has warned people "may not be able to get together in the larger groups that they normally would". EastEnders actor Danny Dyer has told the BBC the idea of potentially not being able to sit round the table with his daughter and in-laws at Christmas was "crazy talk to me".

image copyrightGetty Images

2. Nottinghamshire to enter tier 3 from Friday

Nottinghamshire's move into tier three has been delayed until 00:01 on Friday and will now include the entire county. Nottingham, Rushcliffe, Gedling and Broxtowe were due to move into the top tier of Covid restrictions on Thursday. But Mansfield, Ashfield, Bassetlaw and Newark and Sherwood will also face the toughest measures. Ashfield District Council's leader Jason Zadrozny said tattoo parlours, beauty salons, nail bars and sun bed places would be forced to close - as well as pubs and bars which do not serve food.

image copyrightPA Media

3. Confusion over alcohol sales in Tier 3

An apparent loophole in government rules has caused confusion over whether social clubs in tier three are allowed to serve alcohol. In areas placed in the highest level of restrictions, pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals. But some social clubs are continuing to serve alcohol to members without a substantial meal after their local councils told them it was permitted. Councils in Wirral, Preston and Fylde have all advised their local social clubs that they are exempt because they hold club premises certificates and not premises licences.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionCouncils in Wirral, Preston and Fylde have advised local social clubs they can serve alcohol without food

4. New restrictions for Germany and France

Governments across Europe have been taking measures to reduce the number of coronavirus infections with further lockdowns announced. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said there will be a November lockdown, but schools and shops will remain open. Social contacts will be limited to two households, and bars, catering and leisure facilities will also be shut. In France, President Emmanuel Macron has announced a second national lockdown, banning travel between regions. Under the new measures, starting on Friday, people will only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons. Non-essential businesses will close but schools and factories will remain open.

image copyrightReuters
image captionGermany is seeing record infection levels and ministers say they want to ensure families can get together for Christmas

5. Kim Kardashian mocked for 'humble' island party

Many people have been forced to scale back their birthday celebrations during the pandemic - but not Kim Kardashian West. The reality TV star has been accused of being "tone deaf" after spending her 40th birthday on a private island with a large group of family and friends. Posting photos of the event on Twitter, Kardashian West said she was "humbly reminded of how privileged my life is". It has led to loads of memes being shared on social media mocking the celebrity, with one version replacing photos of her birthday bash with a still from the Wicker Man.

image copyrightGetty Images
image caption"In moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is," she wrote

And don't forget...

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

If you're not yet tired of Zoom chats and want to start planning a digital Christmas, check out how other people are making arrangements for a different festive season this year.

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