Coronavirus: one in three Belgians say they will not celebrate Christmas in a very small circle

According to a study by the University of Antwerp, a large part of the population considers it “unlikely” that they will respect the limitation of close contact at Christmas

Une large part of the population considers that it is unlikely that it respects the limitation of close contact at Christmas, it emerges Thursday from the large Corona study conducted by the University of Antwerp (UAnvers). Forty percent of 18-35 year olds admit that they will not confine themselves to the family circle and a single close contact.

The University of Antwerp looked in the last part of its major study on the plans of Belgians for the various traditional festivals planned for December, upset by the coronavirus. Of the 26,000 respondents, 86% think that they will celebrate Saint-Nicolas with their home and at most a close contact, or in compliance with current health rules. For New Years Eve, this proportion drops to 75% and for Christmas it drops to 68%.

The prospect of parties in very small circles seems especially harsh for young people between the ages of 18 and 35, 40.8% of whom say they will not follow the rules for Christmas. Among this large group, the students seem to be the most serious, with only 29.4% of them having ever resolved to obstruct the measures.

The vast majority of survey participants have no vacation plans at this end of year period. No trip is planned by 79.9% of them while 6.1% plan to travel to Belgium and 5.6% abroad, if possible.

While it is not yet clear whether the stores will be able to reopen for the holidays, part of the population considers it important to physically go to the shops. It is even extremely important for 6.1% of respondents, very important for 9.7% and rather important for 22.4%. People facing financial difficulties are the ones who place the most importance on physical business contact.

The University of Antwerp study also questioned participants’ willingness to be vaccinated and a majority (78%) will definitely or probably do so. Respondents who doubt or reject the vaccine believe that its safety is not yet sufficiently guaranteed and that it has been developed too quickly to be effective. A number of respondents also state that they agree to be vaccinated if enough people have already done so before them.

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