Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people should “keep going” with Christmas parties as he announced Plan B.
Plan B will see the return of masks in more places, work from home guidance and Covid passes amid the spread of the Omicron variant.
Despite the restrictions, the Prime Minister said people should go ahead with festive gathers.
However, the politican was quick to remind people to act with caution while enjoying the lead up to Christmas.
He recommended people take tests before going to Christmas parties with their friends and family.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson said: “On Christmas, 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 Plan B, it is what we set out a while back – and to get your booster and to get your jab.”
Asked about whether festive parties and nativity plays should be cancelled, he replied: “No, in my view they should not.
“They should follow the guidance, of course, but we are not saying we want kids to be taken out of school before the end of term – not that there is very long to go now – and we don’t want nativity plays to be cancelled.
“We think that it is OK currently, on what we can see, to keep going with Christmas parties, but obviously everybody should exercise due caution, have ventilation, wash your hands, get a test before you go – (it is) a sensible thing to do to give everybody else at the party the confidence that they are going to be meeting someone who is not contagious.”
“The best way to ensure we all have a Christmas as close to normal as possible is get on with Plan B.”
The Cabinet’s Covid-19 operations (Covid-O) committee had been expected to meet to consider the next steps amid widespread suggestions that the further measures would be announced as Downing Street faced intense pressure over an allegedly rule-breaking Christmas party in No 10 last year.
It comes as Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs in the Commons that Omicron cases could exceed 1 million by the end of this month on the current trajectory.
He said: “Although there are only 568 confirmed Omicron cases in the UK we know that the actual number of infections will be significantly higher.
“The UK health security agency estimates that the number of infections are approximately 20 times higher than the number of confirmed cases, and so the current number of infections is probably closer to 10,000.
“UKHSA also estimate that at the current observed doubling rate of between two and a half and three days, by the end of this month, infections could exceed 1 million.”
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