The bombshell news that Christmas restrictions are to be tightened means festivities have to be cut back.
So, how are places across the globe with the least jolly names celebrating the season?
Dull – the Perthshire village near Aberfeldy with about 80 residents – hooked up with Boring, in Oregon, USA, after a villager, Elizabeth Leighton, passed through on a cycling trip and hit on the idea of a link to boost business and tourism.
The village officially paired with Boring – population circa 8,000 – in 2013.
Until lockdown struck, the trio’s monopoly on monotony saw them celebrate an annual Dull, Boring and Bland Day each year on August 9.
The “Dull paired with Boring” welcome sign was on its way to becoming one of the most photographed in Britain when Covid-19 hit, putting an end to the busloads of tourists who came for a picture.
Community council secretary and kirk elder Tommy Pringle, 66, helped organise the pairing and his son Jamie, 31, created a special tartan to mark the occasion.
After the world’s dullest – and most dangerous – year, he says the community is looking forward to a brighter 2021 thanks to the development of vaccines.
Dad-of-six Tommy, who has two grandchildren, said: “We have a great community spirit here and we are looking forward to 2021.
“Some of us are already talking about having a vaccine party as soon as it is safe to do so.
“We have been lucky in Dull. We have had no serious illness or deaths from Covid-19 and it was a beautiful place to be in lockdown.
“People here have pulled together throughout this crisis and we’ve been thinking about our friends across the water.
“The Christmas Eve carol service will go out online, as will the Christmas service on December 27.
“And Highland Safaris and Red Deer Centre – our local employer – has worked hard to make sure people could meet up at its café.
“We hope that vaccines will mean we can again welcome tourists and our friends from Boring and Bland next year, but we’ve shown during the pandemic that our little village does not live up to its name.”
As the people of Dull were waking on Sunday, their counterparts in Bland – 11 hours ahead – were gathering in its main park where a Christmas tree twinkles against the night sky. Up to 200 people gathered for the annual Carols by Candlelight event.
The region of Bland – wool and wheat country – has escaped the worst of lockdown and the fires that ravaged other parts of New South Wales.
It is looking forward to a bright 2021 with a bumper harvest and its local gold mine set to boom after major expansion.
Mayor Brian Monaghan, who is hoping to visit Dull for the first time next year, said: “We have been lucky. We have had no confirmed cases of Covid-19 and, while we have lost some trade for our businesses, we haven’t lost any of our people.
But he added: “Our harvest this year was twice what it normally is, so it’s a significant boost.
“We also have an open-cut gold mine, which is going underground in a major expansion, so, hopefully, there will be more income from that.
“We are optimistic and looking forward to 2021.”
A Christmas tree is lit and taking pride of place in Boring, Oregon, but restrictions are preventing its townsfolk from gathering.
The pandemic could not, however, halt its enthusiasm for its annual Boring and Dull Day.
Steve Bates, of the Boring Oregon Foundation, said this year’s event did go ahead in August, but was a scaled-down and socially distanced affair.
He said: “We didn’t have anybody get together at the Christmas tree lighting this year.
“But usually whenever we do, we say ‘cheers’ to our friends in Dull.
“And on Boring and Dull Day we even bring the bagpipes to get a flavour of Scotland.
“We did mark the day this year, but we had a downsized version without ice-cream and with social distancing.
“It was a small celebration and raffle attended by about 40 people.”
Like communities around the world, the pandemic has brought sorrow to Boring.
Steve said: “We have lost a few old timers to Covid-19. One of them was Bobby Rykken, the old assistant fire chief for the Boring Fire Department.”
Christmas in Boring will be a quiet affair.
“None of the restaurants are open, so no one can go out and have a big celebration,” he added.