Don’t cancel nativity plays but take a test before belting out the carols, says Boris Johnson – and Christmas parties are also still OK (this year)
- Boris Johnson announced string of restrictions as part of Plan B to fight Omicron
- From Monday people told to work from home and wear face masks in more areas
- But the Prime Minister ruled out cancelling nativity plays or even office parties
- Told No10 press conference that party attendees should ‘exercise due caution’
- Comes amid anger over accusations Downing St held a party last year while under Tier 3 restrictions
Boris Johnson has said schools should not be cancelling nativity plays and office Christmas parties should still go ahead – despite bringing back restrictions from Monday.
At a Downing St press conference tonight the Prime Minister rejected the possibility of telling schools to send children home and cancel nativity plays or for office workers to scrap their festive dos because of creeping infection numbers.
It comes amid a doubling in Omicron Covid cases every two to three days that has seen the government push forward plans to implement restrictions across England from next week.
Just minutes before in his opening speech however, Mr Johnson set out the government’s ‘Plan B’ to tackle the virus.
Boris Johnson has said companies should not be cancelling their office Christmas parties – despite also telling people to work from home from Monday
Employees should work from home ‘if you can’ or from the office ‘if you must’. Rules around masks will also be tightened to include most public spaces.
Covid passports are also set to be made mandatory for hospitality venues ‘where large crowds gather’.
With city workers already in Christmas party season, a reporter from The Telegraph asked the Prime Minister if his message to companies was to cancel office parties.
The PM replied: ‘No in my view they should not be (cancelled)… We think that it’s ok currently on what we can see to keep going with Christmas parties… but obviously everybody should exercise due caution.
Speaking about school closures, he added: ‘We don’t want kids to be taken out of school before the end of term not – not that there’s long to go now. We don’t want nativities plays to be cancelled’
‘Have ventilation, wash your hands, get a test before you go – a sensible thing to do – to give everybody else at the party the confidence to know they’re going to be meeting someone who is not contagious. Those are simple things that people can do.
Speaking about school closures, he added: ‘We don’t want kids to be taken out of school before the end of term not – not that there’s long to go now.
‘We don’t want nativities plays to be cancelled.’
‘The best way to ensure we have a Christmas as close to normal as possible is to get on with Plan B.
‘Irritating though it may be it is not a lockdown, it is what we set out a while back, and to get your boosters and get your jabs…is the best way forward.’
Mr Johnson also faced about Downing Street’s own Christmas party for officials last year – which is now being probed by the Met Police and the Cabinet Secretary.
The PM however maintained that ‘to the best of my knowledge’ the rules were followed ‘throughout’ but could be drawn on what the event actually involved.
Following intense public criticism over the last week, the PM announced today the Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, would make a report into the alleged rule breach on December 18 last year.
At the time, the government’s guidance specifically said that there should not be Christmas parties.
London was in Tier 3 restrictions on 18 December 2020 and the law said that there should not be indoor gatherings – unless they were ‘reasonably necessary’ for work.
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