Coronavirus: The best present you could give your mum on Mother's Day is to 'stay away'

Saturday 21st March 2020 18:30 GMT

Sunday celebrations will be very different this year as people are warned the best present they could give their elderly mother or grandmother is to stay away from them, as those over 70 are said to be at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

A GP, Dr Sarah Jarvis, tweeted to say "I recommend the best present we can give elderly mums for Mother's Day is to cancel big family lunches and buy them a device with Skype or FaceTime - then use it regularly."

Planned celebrations at restaurants for lunches or afternoon teas have been cancelled after the government ordered cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close for the foreseeable future in the latest move aimed at halting the spread of the virus.

During a briefing on the deepening crisis this week, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked about whether people should see their mums on Mother's Day and if he would be visiting his own mother on Sunday.

The PM said that people "should really think very carefully" about it, saying: "It doesn't matter necessarily whether they're over 70. The issue is whether they are in one of the vulnerable groups.

"Think very carefully about the risk of transmission of the virus and follow the advice, look at the medical advice.

"Our advice is that elderly people, people with serious underlying health conditions, people in the later stages of pregnancy - you have to be careful about the transmission of the virus."

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Mr Johnson also revealed that he was in "regular contact with all members" of his family, and that he would be "working very hard on Sunday - I can tell you that much".

But he also added: "I'll certainly be sending her my very best wishes and hope to get to see her."

It was later reported that he had clarified his words and was actually intending to see his mother "via Skype".

Rob Bacon has prepared a special package for his mum Vicky, 75, revealing in a Tweet: "My mum was panicking that if she had to self-isolate she would run out of her favourite red wine."So for mother's day I've started to make a pack of all her essential items."

He has told Sky News: "We will be able to see her. We will take some fold up chairs and sit from a safe distance."

Also writing on social media, Emily-Rose Searston said: "I'm going live on Facebook to sing songs that people request to be dedicated to their mums and grandmas who they can't see tomorrow."

Michelle Venton says her baby son Zac made his grandmother a ceramic tile, which was "too delicate to send", so they will show her on FaceTime.

Writing on Facebook, Zoe Diamond revealed that her mother had sadly died and that yesterday was her birthday.

She said: "My 3-year-old son asked when we were going to see her.

"We often go to the cemetery, but always at Christmas, birthdays and Mother's Day.

"Because we couldn't get there yesterday because we are self-isolating, he asked if we could sing to her photo and bake her a cake instead.

"I said yes after realising there is always a way to celebrate our love for people, near, far or no longer with us.

"Be grateful your loved one is there - whether it's five miles or 5000 miles away from you, as I'd do anything to speak to my mum on FaceTime or receive another text from her.

"My message is: Stay home people and don't let your kids see their grandparents until this is over."

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