Earlier today (December 19), Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that his originally planned relaxed coronavirus rules for the Christmas period have now been scrapped. He also unveiled a fourth tier of restrictions.
“We cannot continue with Christmas as planned,” Johnson said, addressing the nation alongside England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty and the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
The new rules mean that people in Tier 1-3 will not be able to travel into a Tier 4 area, though support bubbles remain unaffected as do the exemptions for separated parents and their children.
In Tier 4, people should not mix with anyone outside their own household, apart from support bubbles. Christmas bubbles for those in Tiers 1-3 will not be able include anyone in the newly introduced Tier 4.
Following the announcement, a number of people have taken to social media to both air their frustrations and make light of the new restrictions using Rea’s festive favourite.
The song, which was first released in 1988, opens with the lyrics: “I’m driving home for Christmas/ Oh, I can’t wait to see those faces/ I’m driving home for Christmas, yeah/ Well, I’m moving down that line.”
However, with the new restrictions a lot of people won’t be able to travel to visit their loved ones over the festive period.
“I’ve just seen Chris Rea doing a u-turn on the A1,” Rob Beckett wrote on Twitter. Fellow comedian Dom Jolly tweeted: “Chris Rea turned around by Covid Marshalls at Tier Four roadblock on A40.”
I’ve just seen Chris Rea doing a u-turn on the A1.
— Rob Beckett (@robbeckettcomic) December 19, 2020
Chris Rea turned around by Covid Marshalls at Tier Four roadblock on A40.
— Dom Joly (@domjoly) December 19, 2020
“That’s Chris Rea fucked,” one Twitter user wrote, while another pointed out that “Chris Rea’s Christmas song is now a criminal offence.”
That’s Chris Rea fucked.
— Old Holborn® (@Holbornlolz) December 19, 2020
Chris Rea’s Christmas song is now a criminal offence.
— #MarcherClaus (@MarcherLord1) December 19, 2020
Others tweeted gifs of cars doing u-turns in the snow, coming back on themselves on motorways, and one user even tweeted a photograph of a line of police officers guarding a gate with the caption: “Live pictures from outside Chris Rea’s London residence.”
See more tweets about Rea’s ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ below:
Live pictures from outside Chris Rea’s London residence. pic.twitter.com/gHDI9jIoRj
— Chris West (@ChrisWest179) December 19, 2020
Chris Rea right now pic.twitter.com/rcUb9C86Gw
— Mr Roger Quimbly (@RogerQuimbly) December 19, 2020
Chris Rea better turn back.
— Steve Bugeja (@SteveBugeja) December 19, 2020
— Christopher McGill (@McGillTweet) December 19, 2020
Chris Rea’s full name is Christmas Rearrangements.
— cluedont (@cluedont) December 19, 2020
Chris Rea: pic.twitter.com/G3DvHC7pRC
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) December 19, 2020
Chris Rea’s going to have to turn back.
— David Whitley (@mrdavidwhitley) December 19, 2020
On the bright side, Chris Rea is likely to be arrested.
— TAFKAMacM (@TAFKAMacM) December 19, 2020
Chris Rea has turned back around
— Ben Jones (@thisisbenjones) December 19, 2020
Chris Rea right now: pic.twitter.com/81mD932m8h
— Bacardi Oakheart (@Midgetgems26) December 19, 2020
Elsewhere, Wales is to go into full coronavirus lockdown and Christmas rules have been tightened for both Wales and Scotland.