Number 10 has urged people to ‘kiss who they like’ and ‘not cancel Christmas parties’ amid fears over the Omicron variant of covid.
Boris Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, dismissed the claims that were made by other ministers.
He said: “The Prime Minister has been very clear on this, on Christmas parties.
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“We don’t want people to cancel such events and there is no government guidance to that end.”
When asked if people should avoid kissing strangers, he added: “The position has not changed – there are no further restrictions or guidance.”
Slack added that it was down to individual choice what people decide to do, saying: “It is right that post-step 4 [of the road map out of lockdown], we returned to the position where people can use their individual judgment.
It’s contradictory to earlier advice the government has given on guidance for the festive celebrations.
Science minister George Freeman previously suggested larger businesses should cancel their staff Christmas parties, saying that his would now be held remotely.
This was after the work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “I don’t think there should be much snogging under the mistletoe. Don’t need to do things like that.”
Earlier this week, the Daily Mirror claimed Downing Street held a festive celebration last yer, in the days before Christmas, while London was under tier 3 restrictions, which involved 40 or 50 guests.
The Prime Minister refused to deny the claims when challenged by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions and insisted ‘all guidance was followed completely’.
Starmer said: “The Prime Minister doesn’t deny there was a Downing Street Christmas party last year … He says no rules were broken. Both of those things can’t be true. He’s taking the British public for fools.”
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