A British TV presenter has had to back down over comments that she would ignore the ‘rule of six’ in England over the Christmas period in order to have her whole family together.

BBC journalist and news presenter Victoria Derbyshire apologized on Tuesday morning for comments she made in an interview with the Radio Times. 

In reference to Covid-19, Derbyshire had previously said she knows “what the risks are” as she announced her plans to break the government’s ‘rule of six’ over the Christmas period. 

Derbyshire’s plans would also see her elderly relatives join the family for Christmas, as “we need to see my elderly mum and my husband’s elderly dad. We just do,” she said. 

The presenter had received a lot of criticism for her remarks as people across the entire nation have had to make sacrifices during the pandemic. She now says she will follow whatever rules are in place on December 25.

Good morning. I’m starting the day by saying I’m sorry: a few weeks ago the Radio Times asked me (amongst other things) what would potentially happen at Christmas with my own family if the rule of six was still in place…. 1/2

Tuesday’s apology brought about fierce debate concerning social distancing as Christmas approaches and families look to reunite.

Despite the apology and promise to abide by the rules in place, one Twitter user slammed Derbyshire for her irresponsible comments.  

@itvnews Has Victoria Derbyshire has been sacked by the BBC yet? Even if only a fraction of her 74,000 followers on Twitter decide to copy her it could lead to the virus spreading and lives being lost especially as elderly relatives figure predominantly at Christmas.

Another man was equally critical, hitting out at the journalist’s earlier remarks.  

Victoria Derbyshire has vowed to ignore Covid restrictions and break the rule of six in order to celebrate with her family at Christmas. For a woman who had Cancer and with low immunity Covid would be a death sentence! Is this an appropriate stance to take?

Meanwhile, there were plenty of people who empathized with Derbyshire’s position, highlighting how it has been a tough year for everyone and that Christmas is a necessary chance to bring the family together. 

Shouldn’t make people feel bad for wanting to see their family at Christmas, it’s been a mentally tough year

One man poked fun at the government rules which allow offices and businesses to continue at reduced capacity, but in many cases prevent household mixing in non-business environments. 

I’m having 30 round, in line with corporate guidelines, for the family AGM. Just so happens it coincides with Christmas Day due to a delay caused by COVID-19 restrictions. Regrettable but needs must.

The debate highlights the challenges elderly people have faced in 2020, as many have been forced to hide themselves away in order to reduce their chances of contracting Covid-19.

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