MILLIONS of parents in Tier 3 areas will miss out on attending their children's Nativity plays at school.
In Tiers 1 and 2, parents and loved ones are allowed to attend Nativity plays that take place within existing school bubbles.
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But the Government has issued official advice for the festive period stating audiences are not permitted for Nativity plays in Tier 3 areas and that schools should consider live-streaming or recording the shows.
The guidance said: “Performances by pupils, such as nativity plays and other seasonal events, should take place within existing school bubbles and avoid mixing across groups.
“Whether audience members, including parents, are permitted to attend festive performances will depend on the tier in their area.”
"In tiers 1 and 2, audiences are permitted to attend, subject to the appropriate safeguards being in place.
"In tier 3, audiences are not permitted. In these areas, schools can use alternative methods such as live-streaming and recording performance."
Around 23 million people fall under the harsh Tier 3 restrictions for England.
The official guidance also states that Santa’s grottos will be allowed to open this week – but Father Christmas will have to wear a mask.
And kids will be banned from sitting on the festive present giver’s knee to stick to strict social distancing rules.
They will be allowed to open in all tiers – provided they are in venues that are legally allowed to open.
And carol services can still take place provided social distancing measures are in place – with no mingling for audiences or singers in rehearsals.
Door to door singing can still take place – provided singers are going around in a group of six and under.
The advice says: “If there are more than six people in total, each ‘group’ must not interact, ‘mingle’ or otherwise socialise.
“Participants should adhere to public health advice, including to ensure that you maintain at least 2m distance from anyone you do not live with and the threshold of any dwellings.”
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The advice comes as a top SAGE scientist has warned people not to spend more than 15 minutes in a shop as they do their Christmas shopping.
Prof Lucy Yardley told Times Radio: "Really the less time that you spend in there, the safer you are.
“If you spend time close enough to somebody and they happen to bring it on you or cough on you, then it doesn't take 15 minutes to catch the virus."
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