Consider others during pandemic, don’t just focus on travel: Pope

People need to think beyond their next travel plans and consider how much others may be suffering due to the pandemic, Pope Francis said after Sunday’s midday prayer, dpa news said.

It would be better if people thought about how to help the weakest and most disadvantaged in society, he said, after the Angelus, which he delivered from the Vatican library, due to concerns about the coronavirus.

He said he had read reports about people who had travelled abroad on vacation in more than 40 planes to escape lockdown at home.

“They didn’t think about those who were staying at home, of the economic problems of many people who have been hit hard by the lockdown, of the sick people,” Pope Francis said.

They just wanted to have fun, he said, adding that this made him very sad.

His comments came as people around the world sought to escape lockdowns and celebrated the New Year, despite regulations to stem the spread of the virus.

In Germany, police clamped down on some who took advantage of the snow to go skiing in the country’s south and west.

In the preceding days, police in France, Spain and Germany had broken up illegal gatherings on New Year’s Eve as some welcomed 2021 with parties and raves.

On Saturday, Spanish police broke up a party in Barcelona for violating coronavirus lockdown regulations, after ravers tried to keep dancing through the weekend.

Police in Rennes, France, had to break up a similar party on the same day.