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Don’t cancel the Christmas party and kiss whoever you like, say No 10

Number 10 is urging companies not to cancel Christmas parties and says people are free to kiss whoever they like, during a bid to clear up the confusion.

Boris JohnsonA minister’s spokesman dismissed one minister’s suggestion that larger parties should be avoided – and another Please don’t “snoop under the mistletoe”.

“The Prime Minister was very clear about this, during the Christmas parties. We don’t want people to cancel such events and there’s no government guidance to end that.”

When asked if people should avoid kissing strangers, he added: “The position hasn’t changed – there are no further restrictions or guidelines.”

The government’s stance on the celebrations has become confusing, as it grapples with the growing threat from omicron variation and fear that it reduces Covid immunity.

George Freeman, the Science Minister, suggested larger businesses should cancel their employees’ Christmas parties – revealing that his department’s event would be held remotely.

A few hours earlier, the secretary of affairs and pensions Therese Coffey partygoers warn: “I don’t think there are many snooping under the mistletoe. There is no need to do such things.”

On both issues, however, a spokesman for Mr Johnson made it clear that – after the summer of lifting all legal restrictions – they were a matter of personal choice.

About canceling the party, he said: “It’s true that after step 4 [of the road map out of lockdown], we’re back to a position where people can use their personal judgment.

“Definitely there is no government guidance for that purpose and the prime minister has been very clear.”

He also dismissed Freeman’s warning about larger gatherings, saying there was no limit to numbers. “It’s not in the guidelines, it’s not in the regulations,” the spokesperson said.

However, he suggested that Number 10 not hold Christmas parties for employees – in the future compared to the parties held a year ago, a clear violation of the coronavirus rules.

Meanwhile, it is likely to be a few more days before an NHS blueprint is released to meet Mr Johnson’s pledge to deliver a booster shot to every adult in the UK by the end of the day. January.

Health officials are negotiating with overworked GPs about other requirements that will be relaxed to help them return to more focus on the vaccination program.

The plans will not be announced on Thursday and the government is just working to put it in place “as soon as possible”, an official said.

GP time must be freed up to increase the number of missiles delivered from 350,000 to 500,000 per day to counter the threat posed by Omicron.

Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England’s director of primary care, said on Wednesday, of formalizing the plan: “These problems with the BMA [British Medical Association] needs to be settled before that can happen.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/omicron-christmas-parties-boris-advice-b1968465.html Don’t cancel the Christmas party and kiss whoever you like, say No 10

JACLYN DIAZ

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