For the needs of this dialogue, Nazareth and Bethlehem are handled as if they’re in Tier Four Covid rules

In gentle of the brand new rules, who within the story of the Nativity would have discovered themselves in receipt of a monetary penalty, or worse?

The Angel Gabriel

The story of the Nativity begins with Angel Gabriel visiting Mary and informing her that she would give delivery to the son of God.

Sadly for Gabriel, they’ve travelled right into a Tier Four space, one thing which is particularly prohibited below Part 1 of the brand new Covid rules. Nonetheless, Gabriel can search to depend on the ‘affordable excuse’ or that he’s offering care to a different. It will appear, within the circumstances, that Gabriel can fulfill the evidential burden of displaying affordable excuse in that he was delivering the information of the arrival of the son of God.

However, even when there’s a affordable excuse, Gabriel and Mary have gathered indoors in non-public premises. Assuming that Gabriel just isn’t in Mary’s help bubble, it is a clear breach of the Covid rules and each Gabriel and Mary may discover themselves in receipt of a hefty nice. They need to have agreed to fulfill open air, in a bunch of not more than two, in order that the information could possibly be delivered in a Covid compliant method.

The Journey to Bethlehem

Mary and Joseph then needed to journey to Bethlehem. That is in breach of the blanket ‘stay-at-home’ order presently in place. Nonetheless, the journey was directed by Caesar Augustus for the aim of all people returning to their ancestral cities (Joseph having been born in Bethlehem). This was in order that the world could possibly be taxed. This may possible be seen as an inexpensive excuse and so permitted below the Covid rules. If Mary and Joseph have been, because it seems, registering the place they stay — this may be thought-about an exercise ancillary to voting and so permitted below Exception 13.

Mary and Joseph may additionally declare that they have been shifting to a brand new home, one other exception permitted below Part 2(f)(iv) of the brand new rules.

No Room on the Inn

Mary and Joseph’s journey have been handled. We flip now to think about the inn-keeper. This can be a man who could possibly be in actual bother. Part 14 of the brand new rules is extraordinarily clear, any individual offering journey lodging in a Tier Four space should stop to supply that lodging. Nonetheless, fortunately for the inn-keeper, the federal government has supplied an unlimited variety of exemptions, which embrace:

  • The place a person is unable to return to their essential place of residence
  • The place lodging is required for the aim of a home transfer
  • Offering lodging for carers of a weak individual

Pertinently, Part 14(3) offers an exception which doesn’t stop using lodging “for the needs of voting, counting of votes or actions ancillary to voting or the counting of votes in an election or referendum”. The defence of the inn-keeper would subsequently activate the next:

  • Whether or not Mary and Joseph have been unable to return to their essential place of residence
  • Whether or not they wanted the lodging within the steady for the aim of a home transfer
  • Whether or not, on the time, Mary could be thought-about a weak individual and Joseph to be her carer by advantage of her carrying the unborn son of God

It has all of the makings of a 3 to 4 week trial, maybe in 2023.

As for these people who the inn-keeper supplied lodging to in precise rooms, the difficulty could be whether or not Part 14(3) was meant to cowl those that are travelling to register as an exercise ‘ancillary to voting’. Unsurprisingly, there’s no clear steerage on this level.

Start of Jesus

No actual issues right here, the animals within the steady aren’t caught by the Covid rules. Jesus seems to have been born in pretty Covid compliant circumstances.

The Shepherds

The Shepherds have breached the stay-at-home order. Nonetheless, it’s unclear whether or not they even have properties and the brand new Covid rules particularly don’t apply to the homeless (not like the unique rules). Even when they’ve left their properties, it does seem to have been moderately obligatory for them to have been outdoors their properties for the needs of their work. No Covid breaches from the Shepherds. Not less than till now.

The Shepherds then journey to the delivery of child Jesus. They might try to depend on Exception (4) which refers to ‘medical want and so on’. Subsection (d) permits a person to be outdoors their dwelling to attend an individual giving delivery. Sadly for the Shepherds, this solely arises if the individual giving delivery has requested that they attend — Mary doesn’t seem to have made such a request.

The Shepherds, in equity to them, did obtain a message from God informing them that his son had been born and they might discover him in Bethlehem. It does seem that they’ve been given a path to attend the steady for the needs of worship. It’s a permitted exception below Part 2(e) to attend a spot of worship, it will appear affordable to imagine {that a} steady with the son of God would qualify as a spot of worship.

The gathering of the Shepherds, Mary and Joseph can be a certified exception of communal worship. In sum, while dangerous, the Shepherds do seem to have a defence to their numerous failures to adjust to the stay-at-home order.

The Three Clever Males

The Clever Males (or Kings — all males are equal below the Covid rules because the President of Chile — Sebastian Pinera — confirmed us), might not be so smart in any case. They didn’t obtain a message from an angel or from God, their message got here from the celebrities. It was mentioned that a fantastic ‘Ruler’ had been born.

The Clever Males travelled to see King Herod to fulfill the brand new ruler. That is the place the significance comes of what their precise goal is. The bible, in sure variations not less than, does recommend that upon reaching Jerusalem, that the Three Clever Males acknowledged: “The place is he who’s born King of the Jews? For we noticed his star within the east, and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:1-12). If that’s right, and their journey was for the aim of worship, we will afford them a defence.

Upon reaching King Herod he directed them to search out the son of God in order that Herod may worship him himself. This would seem, on stability, to now afford them with an inexpensive excuse and so the Three Clever Males are again on a law-abiding footing. The Clever Males then attend Jesus and supply him with presents, this gathering as soon as once more most likely qualifies as a permitted gathering for the needs of worship.

Nonetheless, a closing phrase of warning for the Shepherds, the Clever Males, Mary and Joseph (child Jesus doesn’t seem to qualify for the Covid rules as he’s below the age of 5, in any occasion the age of prison accountability within the UK is 10). If the steady have been to be seen as non-public premises, then they’d all be in breach of the Covid rules, whatever the goal of their attendance on the venue.


It seems that most, if not arguably the entire story of the Nativity is not less than arguably Covid compliant. Though it’s removed from clear. The problem of actions ancillary to voting could be hotly debated within the Supreme Courtroom, whether or not a steady is non-public premises would make for wealthy studying within the Courtroom of Attraction.

What it does present, is that the drafting of the rules is so unclear and broad that you can in all probability argue absolutely anything. Though on stability, I’ll in all probability simply keep at dwelling. Merry Christmas.