09:44 GMT28 January 2021
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    • This combination image shows a file photo dated Monday, 17 December 2018 of a square with the traditional Christmas Market in Dortmund, Germany, top, and the square on Monday, 23 November 2020, below.
    • This combination image shows a file photo dated Tuesday, 20 December 2016 of the traditional Market in Strasbourg, France, top, and the square on Friday, 27 November 2020 below.
    • This combination image shows a file photo dated Monday, 24 November 2008 of the Charlottenburg Palace with the traditional Christmas Market in Berlin Germany, top, and the square on Tuesday, 24 November 2020, below.
    • This combination image shows a file photo dated Thursday, 5 December 2019 of the traditional Christmas Market at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, top, and the square on Saturday, 28 November 2020 below.
    • This combination image shows a file photo dated Wednesday, 18 December 2019 of the traditional Christmas Market next to Saint Catherine Church in Brussels, Belgium, below, and the square on Tuesday, 24 November 2020, top.
    • This combination picture shows the gold-foiled Christ Child reciting a prologue during the opening ceremony of the traditional Christkindlesmarkt on 28 November 2014, and the empty balcony of the Church of Our Lady amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nuremberg, Germany, 26 November 2020.
    • This combination image shows a file photo dated Friday, 1 December 2017 of the square in front of the Church of Our Lady with the traditional Christmas Market in Nuremberg, Germany, top, and the square on Monday, 23 November 2020, below.
    © AP Photo / Martin Meissner
    This combination image shows a file photo dated Monday, 17 December 2018 of a square with the traditional Christmas Market in Dortmund, Germany, top, and the square on Monday, 23 November 2020, below.

    The coronavirus pandemic, being one of the major challenges of the 21st century, seems to have divided the world into "before" and "after", with people, communities, and nations changing their habits to adapt to the new reality.

    Christmas might be one of the most cherished holidays of the year, with splendid celebrations, festivities, and fairs being organised all around the world.

    This year's holiday season has been overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, making countries introduce restrictive measures on public gatherings.

    Recently, the Italian government announced plans to toughen measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus during the Christmas and New Year period, including limiting the movement across the country.

    The German Retail Federation (HDE) has stated that at least 80 percent of traditional Christmas markets in the country have been cancelled over the COVID-19 pandemic, while Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised to seek an EU-wide suspension for ski resorts during the winter break.

    The authorities in Bern, Switzerland have decided to open two Christmas markets in the city, but they don't serve food and drinks, including traditional mulled wine.

    Tags:
    fair, COVID-19, coronavirus, celebrations, Christmas
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