By Natalie Williams • 03 December 2021 • 12:40
Kiss at Christmas parties, but mask up for the bus ride home
Kiss at Christmas parties, but mask up for the bus ride home is the recent message the UK government has given in regards to Covid protection this Christmas season.
Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden said people should “keep calm and carry on” with their seasonal plan after government minister issued a range of conflicting advice on Christmas Covid protection
Cabinet minister Therese Coffey said there shouldn’t be “much snogging under the mistletoe”, only for Health Secretary Sajid Javid to hit back: “People can snog who they wish.”
Mr Dowden went down a slightly different tack saying “people were free to smooch strangers if they strictly abide by the latest Covid laws in England”.
That includes mandatory face coverings in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres, banks, estate agents, vets, and on public transport, with £200 fines if the laws are not adhered to.
Asked about a kiss at Christmas he told LBC: “People should keep calm and carry on with their Christmas plans, as long as they abide by the mask-wearing in the settings we’ve set out, namely public transport and… retail.”
Asked if that meant they could kiss strangers at Christmas parties Mr Dowden replied: “If you wish to kiss somebody under the mistletoe, yes, the rules have not changed.
“As long as they are a fully consenting adult, yes, you are free to carry on with your Christmas kiss plans.”
Asked if he’d kiss anyone this Christmas he replied: “Only Mrs Dowden, if I’m fortunate.”
This contradictory statement about ‘to kiss or not to kiss at Christmas’ comes hours after a government advisor warned “personally, I wouldn’t feel safe going to a party at the moment, even if attendees were vaccinated”.
Professor Peter Openshaw, a member of SAGE subgroup the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said “the chances of getting infected were too high”.
The Prime Minister and Health Secretary Sajid Javid have urged people not to cancel Christmas parties despite the rise of the Omicron variant, and more than 50,000 new Covid-19 cases in the UK a day.
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