No ‘snogging under the mistletoe’ between strangers this Christmas, minister says

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People can enjoy Christmas if they take “sensible” precautions, an expert has said, as did a government minister who warned against “snogging under the mistletoe”.

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Professor Anthony Harden, deputy chairman of the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI), said vaccines could do “a lot of the heavy lifting” amid concerns about the Omicron version of the coronavirus, although he acknowledged there were “a lot of uncertainties”. new stress.

Suggesting measures such as social distancing and wearing a mask, he told Sky News: “If people are sane then I see no reason why we can’t all enjoy Christmas again, unless this edition is for the worse.” Doesn’t take a real turn.

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“And we really won’t know that for a couple of weeks.”

Therese Coffey (Victoria Jones / PA)

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said people should avoid “snogging under the mistletoe” during the Christmas break.

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She told ITV’s Peston program that “we should all try to enjoy Christmas ahead of us”, adding: “For what it’s worth, I don’t think there should be much snogging under mistletoe.

“(You) don’t need to do things like this. But I think we should all try to enjoy the Christmas ahead of us and that’s why we’re working so hard to deploy as many vaccines as possible.”

Ms Coffey added that “kissing with people you don’t already know should be avoided”.

Earlier, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said people should continue to follow government advice despite warnings from some health officials on the risks of socializing.

The government has tightened rules for PCR tests for travelers returning to the UK and introduced quarantine rules for people from high-risk countries, as well as bringing back face coverings to shops and public transport in England.

It has also accelerated the COVID Booster program to help slow the spread of the new variant.

Professor Robert West, member of the Scientific Epidemic Insights Group on Behavior (SPI-B), cautioned and urged people to make “flexible” plans for the holiday period.

He told Sky News that he personally would not make any plans that “involve gatherings that cannot be changed”.

Prof West said: “In other words, be flexible. Make your plans, by all means, as I am, but do it in a way that means coming from the worst to the worst, and we have to Have to make sure people are as isolated from each other as possible, as safe as possible, then you can still enjoy the holiday period.”

(PA Graphics)

The COVID-19 vaccines have been earmarked by the ministers for possible booster campaigns over the next two years.

While there is uncertainty over the need for future campaigns, the government announced that it has signed deals for 114 million Modern and Pfizer jabs that will be delivered in 2022 and 2023.

Mr Javid said the deals see the country’s vaccine program as “future-proof”.

These include 60 million additional doses of Moderna Vaccine and 54 million more doses of Pfizer/BioNtech.

Dr Maria van Kerkhove, COVID-19 technical chief at the World Health Organisation, said there is no indication that the vaccine will not work against Omicron.

“Even if there is a reduction in efficacy, it is better to have the vaccine because it will save your life,” she said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said EU countries should consider making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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