SCHOOLS have been forced to cancel Christmas school lunches and festive concerts for a second year in a row.

Parents have been told they can't come into schools to see their kids star in Christmas performances due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Millions of people spent the holidays away from friends and family last year, stuck in their own households.

Christmas was effectively cancelled for Brits living in Tier 4, with nobody allowed to travel out of the area – unless it was for childcare reasons or to see support bubbles.

The Welsh Government and local authorities have warned schools to follow advice based on local rates of Covid cases, with some recommending Christmas concerts are held virtually.

In Carmarthenshire, the council has "strongly discouraged" schools from allowing parents to come into schools for performances – including outdoor carol concerts.

And in Bridgend, the council said "limited staffing" means there will be no festive lunches provided in schools.

One fuming mum said she didn't understand why people can go to the cinema, pubs and sporting events but not to school concerts with safety measures in place, Wales Online reports.

Faye Mortlock, who has four children aged six to 11, said her youngest daughter was devastated that her parents can’t come to her school Christmas concert for a second year.

She said parents have been asked to give permission for concerts to be filmed so that parents can watch them on screen.

"Our primary have decided that we can’t go and watch again this year," she said.

"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."

Covid infection rates in Wales remain high – and the Welsh government has not ruled out extending vaccine passports to pubs and bars in the run up to Christmas.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the government would be "keeping the option of extending the use of the Covid pass" to the hospitality sector.

Wales has recorded another eight Covid deaths and 2,446 new cases in the last 24 hours.

The seven day case rate per 100,000 people has risen to 512.5 – compared to yesterday's figure of 504.9 per 100,000 people.

And since Monday, people in Wales must show an NHS Covid pass to legally enter cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

COVID PASSES

The scheme, which applies to anyone over the age of 18, has been in place since October 11 for nightclubs and large-scale events.

The Welsh government said businesses must complete a risk assessment before opening – including whether a Covid pass is needed and how it would be enforced.

Fixed penalty notices can be dished out to businesses which breach the law, with the maximum fine for repeat offences being £10,000.

The Welsh government said: "Cases of coronavirus in Wales remain very high. The NHS Covid pass is another way we're strengthening the measures we have in place to keep us all safe."

Covid daily cases in the UK have dropped by ten per cent in a month – with 44,242 new cases being recorded in the past 24 hours.

The number of deaths has dipped since yesterday, with 157 people dying up from 145 last Friday.

It brings the grim total of deaths from the killer virus up to 143,716 and the number of infections to 9,766,153.

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