Bridgend Council in Wales UK announced that, for a second year running, there will be no festive Christmas events in the schools under its purview due to staff shortages and COVID fears.
"Unfortunately, due to limited staffing available to the local authority to support the likely increased take-up of the offer of a Christmas lunch, there will be no dedicated Christmas lunches provided in schools. However, some food will have a 'festive theme,'", said a spokesperson for the council.
According to Wales Online, Christmas concerts and other similar events are also going to be put on virtually this year again, as "parents have been told they cannot come in to see Christmas performances and events shows for a second year, thanks to COVID."
Merthyr Council, Carmarthenshire Council, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Powys Council have also, at the very least "strongly recommended" that schools limit their Christmas events to virtual ones.
Faye Mortlock, a mother of four who is affected by the ban on in-person attendance of Christmas concerts, told the press: "Our primary have decided that we can’t go and watch again this year. My daughter is heartbroken I can’t watch again, it’s her last infant concert."
"Another childhood rite of passage that she’s missed. I’m so sad though because our school was always so proactive and keen for the return to normal prior to the summer."
Welsh authorities themselves have stated:
"Local authorities, employers and schools must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable measures to protect staff, learners and others from Covid-19 within the setting."
"Any events – such as concerts, fairs and visits - should be risk assessed, with consideration given to additional risks and control measures to be put in place."
"Where appropriate, information on the relevant arrangements should be communicated to those attending or taking part in these events in advance."
In a similar communication, Canadian Chief Medical Officer Dr. Theresa Tam warned Canadians not to get together and sing Christmas carols this year, due to fears of increased transmission of the virus.