Nearly half of Oxfordshire residents plan to break the ‘rule of six’ at Christmas


Nearly half (42 per cent) of people in Oxfordshire are planning to break the ‘rule of six’ this Christmas by celebrating privately at home with friends and family a new survey has revealed.

The new research of 250 consumers in Oxfordshire by Thame-based Adactus, a specialist in booking and reservation systems also revealed that 79 per cent said they would rebook Christmas reservations if the ‘rule of six’ banning larger gatherings was lifted, while just five per cent said they were no longer eating out due to the fear of catching the virus.

With the three-tier system enforcing the ‘rule of six’ for all dining out and the highest tier also requiring the six to be just one household/bubble, along with a ‘circuit breaker’ now in Wales, most people aren’t waiting on the Prime Minister to lift the ‘rule of six’ for Christmas Day. Just 10 per cent said they would rebook as it gets closer to Christmas to eat out in smaller groups on separate days to follow the rules.

Adactus’s research also showed that while 39 per cent had cancelled their Christmas day bookings to eat out in a pub, restaurant or hotel, the restrictions were resulting in cancellations right across the Christmas period.

When it came to recording ‘Track and Trace’ details in a pub, restaurant or hotel, 82 per cent of the public said this was being done manually with a clipboard/folder/book, just seven per cent on the NHS app and nine per cent via the venue’s app – with 78 per cent also saying that any paper recordings were also left out at the venue in full view of anyone.

Scott Muncaster, Managing Director of Adactus and creator of the SmartQ Smart Bookings system said: “Clearly our study has found that Oxfordshire people are not changing their Christmas plans to eat out due to their fear of catching the virus, but as a result of the ‘rule of six’ and 10pm curfew. Many people would still like to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with meals out but are being put off by the restrictions and curfew which will clearly damage the local hospitality industry at what is traditionally its busiest time of year.”