Pope Francis wears a face mask during ceremony in Rome
The head of the Catholic Church said he was “saddened” by the news. The Pope made his comments during a weekly noon blessing on Sunday. He spoke from the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
In his address, Pope Francis said he had read about people getting on flights to escape coronavirus restrictions.
He did not refer to which newspaper he had read or which country specifically the reports regarded.
Pope Francis said, according to Reuters: “I have read something in the newspapers that saddened me.
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“In a country that I don’t remember, to avoid the lockdown and go on holiday, more than 40 planes left in one afternoon.
“They are good people, but they didn’t think about those who are staying at home, or the economic problems of many people who have been hit hard by the lockdown, of the sick people – only about going on holiday and having fun.”
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He then urged listeners to be more considerate of one another going into the new year.
The Pope’s comments came as the world enters 2021 with more than 85,000,000 people reported to have caught Covid-19.
The global death toll is currently 1,842,095, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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Over the weekend, the US reported its highest-yet single-day record of at least 291,300 new cases on Saturday – though the figure was inflated due to reporting delays, the New York Times said.
The country is experiencing a fresh surge in cases after a winter holiday period that saw millions travel across the country for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.
Dr Robert Kim-Farley, an epidemiologist at the University of California, told CBS News: “I think we’re now in a viral tsunami.”
Meanwhile the United Nations World Tourism Organisation said last month that, worldwide, 900 million fewer international tourists travelled between the months of January and October when compared to the same period in 2019.
It meant the international tourism industry lost almost a trillion US dollars in export revenues.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Even as the news of a vaccine boosts traveller confidence, there is still a long road to recovery.”
Elsewhere in his Sunday address, Pope Francis wished listeners well for the new year that had begun just days before.
He spoke of “putting the weakest and most disadvantaged at the centre” and told listeners to “commit to taking care of each other”, according to Vatican News.
He also made a comment specifically to those expecting a baby, stating: “A birth is always a promise of hope.”
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