Christmas train tickets selling out leaving families stranded over festive period

On top of this, trains, flights and coaches will all be running at reduced capacities due to ongoing social distancing measures.  Tickets have nearly sold out across some long-distance routes.

On booking website Trainline, at the time of publication, tickets from London to Newcastle were already incredibly limited for Dec 23, with only a few seats remaining on most journeys.

Tickets were close to selling out for many journeys from  London to Edinburgh on the same date, as were tickets for trips from London to Cardiff, particularly in first-class carriages.

As usual, there will be no trains running on Christmas Day itself, and a very limited number of services running on Boxing Day. 

The Government has appointed Sir Peter Hendy, the chairman of Network Rail, to examine whether transport links across the country will be fit for purpose over Christmas.  

He has been given the power to force train operators

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Italian Government Bans Christmas Travel, Prompting Regional Leaders to Call the Order ‘Crazy’

Italy’s government announced on Wednesday that citizens will not be able to travel throughout the country during Christmas, angering regional leaders who said the new effort to contain the coronavirus’s spread goes too far.



a man wearing a suit and tie: The Italian government issued a new decree on Wednesday, stating that citizens will be prohibited from traveling through Italy's 20 regions during Christmas. In this photo, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a press conference to announce a new emergency decree on COVID restrictions, at Palazzo Chigi, on November 4, 2020 in Rome, Italy.


© Alessandro Serranò/Getty
The Italian government issued a new decree on Wednesday, stating that citizens will be prohibited from traveling through Italy’s 20 regions during Christmas. In this photo, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a press conference to announce a new emergency decree on COVID restrictions, at Palazzo Chigi, on November 4, 2020 in Rome, Italy.

From December 21 to January 6, no Italian citizen will be able to travel among the country’s 20 regions except for work, medical reasons or emergencies, the government order said.

On Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, residents will not even be permitted to leave their specific towns. Those who live in small towns or villages within walking distance to

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Costa Cruises cancels Christmas, New Year’s cruises in ‘further economic sacrifice’ amid COVID-19

Cruise line industry extends CDC “no-sail” order until Sept. 15 due to COVID-19

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Costa Cruises, the Italian line that is a subsidiary of cruise giant Carnival Corp., will not be setting sail this Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

According a press release provided to USA TODAY, the cruise line will suspend its activities from Dec. 20 through Jan. 6, in compliance with efforts of the Italian government to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“The cancellation of Christmas and New Year’s Eve cruises, among the most popular of the year, therefore represents a further economic sacrifice for Costa Cruises and the entire industry, in a period that was already very difficult,” reads the release.



a large ship in a body of water: Costa Smeralda, which launched in 2019, is the Italian cruise company's biggest ship to date, with room for more than 6,000 passengers.


© Costa Cruises
Costa Smeralda, which launched in 2019, is the Italian cruise company’s biggest ship to date, with room for more than 6,000 passengers.

Start the day smarter. Get all the

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Italy announces Christmas travel ban



a person walking in the rain with an umbrella: A travel ban between different regions will be in place from 21 December to 6 January


© Getty Images
A travel ban between different regions will be in place from 21 December to 6 January

Italy has outlined strict coronavirus curbs for Christmas, including a ban on travel between different regions from 21 December to 6 January.

A curfew from 22:00 to 05:00 will also be in place.

Restaurants can open in some regions until 18:00 but only takeaways are allowed in other parts of the country. Ski slopes must close until 7 January.

It comes as Italy announced its highest daily Covid death toll since the pandemic started, with 993 fatalities.

“We cannot let down our guard,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told a news conference.

“We must eliminate the risk of a third wave which could arrive in January – and not less serious than the first and the second,” he added.

There will be travel exceptions for work, medical reasons or emergencies.

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This Cudahy bar is hosting a Christmas pop-up inspired by ‘A Christmas Story,’ ‘Christmas Vacation’ and more

A Cudahy bar is trying to bring Christmas movies to life this holiday season with props, including a leg lamp and Santa chair, and more than 16,000 lights. 



a glass with a drink in a room: City Lounge in Cudahy will have a leg lamp at its "Fra Gee Lay" Christmas movie mashup pop-up bar experience.


© Submitted
City Lounge in Cudahy will have a leg lamp at its “Fra Gee Lay” Christmas movie mashup pop-up bar experience.

City Lounge, 3455 E. Layton Ave., is putting on “Fra Gee Lay,” a Christmas movie mashup pop-up bar experience, from Dec. 4 to Jan. 3. 

While the bar has put on many pop-ups inspired by movies and TV shows, from “Harry Potter” to “The Office,” this is its first Christmas-themed one. 

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Owner Alex Ahmad said he usually just puts up a “few decorations” around the bar for the holidays. 

“This time, we decided to go all out,” he said. 

There will be a handful of sets and photo ops inspired by

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Italy bans travel between towns over Christmas

The Italian government has approved a controversial ban on inter-regional travel during the Christmas period as the country registered the highest daily coronavirus death toll since the beginning of the pandemic.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Italys' Prime Minister Press Off/AFP/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Italys’ Prime Minister Press Off/AFP/Getty Images

Under a new decree due to be signed by prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, on Thursday night, people will be barred from travelling beyond their regions between 20 December and 6 January except for work, health or emergency reasons.

On top of that, they won’t be allowed to leave their towns on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

The tough rules, which will run alongside a national curfew and other restrictions already in place, are intended to avert a third coronavirus wave.

Italy recorded a record 993 Covid-19 deaths on Thursday, bringing the total since February to 58,038. Thursday’s tally eclipsed the 969 peak reached on

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Chevy Chase Thinks ‘It’s the Silliest Thing’ When People Compare ‘Christmas Vacation’ To ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

There’s no denying National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a popular holiday movie. It’s not uncommon for fans of the 1989 comedy to watch it multiple times during the month of December. 

Chevy Chase in a scene from 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation'
Chevy Chase in a scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

For some, it’s a time-honored family tradition to watch the Griswolds endure Christmas with their relatives. In fact, the movie’s become so popular in the decades following its release there are now Christmas Vacation inspired ornaments and t-shirts.

The movie might be one of the most beloved holiday movies but its star, Chevy Chase, insists it’s not on the same level as It’s a Wonderful Life

‘Christmas Vacation’ has a connection to ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Frank Capra III, the grandson of It’s a Wonderful Life director Frank Capra, served as the second assistant director on Christmas Vacation

RELATED: The Best Holiday Movies

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No, You Don’t Need Tickets to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Here’s a public service announcement, as there appears to be a lot of misinformation about this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. First, no, you don’t need to reserve tickets in advance or get a ticket in person to see the tree. A spokesperson for Rockefeller Center confirmed for us, “There are no tickets to view the tree and advance reservations are not required.” Instead, there will be a virtual queuing system that will issue a QR code to visitors upon arrival. Scanning the code will tell the visitor how long the current wait time is and they will receive a text message on when they should return to the line to see the tree. There will be dedicated tree-viewing zones and you’ll be directed into “delineated pods” placed six feet apart that can fit for people. Groups with more than four people will get separated into two pods.

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Road and rail works curtailed to aid UK Christmas travel plans

Some Christmas rail engineering works will start later and hundreds of miles of roadworks will be paused to minimise possible disruption during the UK’s 23-27 December travel window, the government has announced.



a group of people on a train track at a train station: Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA

However, ministers have decided not to cancel long-planned works, with advance bookings and polling suggesting that festive travel will remain subdued on rail and road.

Announcing the measures, transport secretary Grant Shapps said the government was “working with transport operators to help people see their loved ones safely.”

The biggest work, the closure of the East Coast main line between London and Scotland, will start later to allow for some train services in and out of Kings Cross on Christmas Eve. But it will remain closed for the remainder of the five days when the government and devolved administrations are easing Covid-19 restrictions to allow up to three households to

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Glendale Plays Chicago in ‘Christmas Vacation’

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As Mavis Staples sings at the opening of the 1989 holiday classic “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “It’s that time. Christmastime is here. Everybody knows there’s not a better time of year.” Something lesser known? The yuletide staple (which turns 31 this week!) was primarily shot in Los Angeles, not Chicago where it was set. Mainly lensed on the Warner Bros. Ranch backlot, practical locations were utilized as well, including a stately Colonial Revival in Glendale that served as the home of Frank Shirley (Brian Doyle-Murray), Clark W. Griswold’s (Chevy Chase) bonus-cutting boss.

It is there that Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) commits the Griswold family’s first kidnapping (well, as long as you don’t count that whole Walley World security guard thing in the 1983 original). Upon hearing Clark’s profanity-ridden rant detailing exactly what he would like to say to Mr. Shirley regarding his bonus

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