What key figures from Wales and Westminster have said about the Christmas holidays – .

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The emergence of the omicron variant of the coronavirus tossed many people’s plans for December.
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the new strain with scientists around the world scrambling to increase our knowledge of this potential new threat to our lives and freedoms.

For many workers, December is the time to celebrate Christmas. After well over a year of upheaval, including periods of isolation from working at home away from co-workers, many people are still forced to relax for Christmas. But do these events still have to unfold in light of the new variant? At present, messages from senior advisers and policy makers are mixed.

Read more:WHO says Covid vaccines appear to work against Omicron with most mild cases

UK Government Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the public he should plan a ‘big’ Christmas ‘as usual’ and also said he was ‘far close’ to reintroducing distancing rules social and advice on working from home. Mr Javid said it “might be a good idea” to do a lateral flow test before a party, but that people should just “consider current directions” when making their plans.

However, the current NHS England test and trace manager Dr Jenny Harries said people should ‘be careful, don’t socialize when we don’t particularly need it’. But this was contradicted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a press conference in Downing Street when asked if the parties should be canceled. He replied, “So the answer is no. The guidelines remain the same and we try to take a balanced and proportionate approach.

“We have put in place measures to tackle the delta, which we believe are appropriate, and then we are putting in place more stringent measures to stop the rapid seeding of omicron in this country to give ourselves the time we need to get the boosters and of course find out more.

On whether parties and nurseries should be continued, he said: “We don’t want people to cancel such events and we overwhelmingly believe that the best thing for children is to be at school, as I have said many times throughout this pandemic.

“What we’re doing is trying to take a balanced and proportionate approach to the particular risk that appears to be posed by omicron – certainly is posed by omicron – focusing in particular on border measures. “

However, Mr Johnson does not have power over the vast majority of potential restrictions in Wales as that responsibility lies with the Welsh government. Speaking on Tuesday, Health Minister Eluned Morgan advised caution, but did not say directly whether people should throw parties.

She said it was “too early” to predict the impact of the omicron strain over Christmas time, but reiterated the danger and “threat” of mixing with other people inside. . “Omicron hasn’t arrived in Wales yet, but it’s only a matter of time before they do,” she said.

There will of course be a higher risk if you meet people rather than if you don’t. When asked if the Christmas holidays increase the risk of transmission, Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, told the Huffington Post that even if it does, it does did not automatically mean that people would have to step aside to attend a festive party.

“At Christmas, respiratory viruses tend to spread less easily during the Christmas Day event, as we mingle less with people there than during a normal work or school day,” he says. he. “But the Christmas celebrations as Christmas approaches are a different thing and would certainly increase the risk of transmission.

“This is because a work team is likely to be in a crowded indoor space – two of the conditions that make transmission of Covid particles more likely when people breathe, talk, cough or sing. And there are often songs at a party.

“While for people who go clubbing a lot, the risk may not be much greater than normal for people who wouldn’t normally, the Christmas party in the office carries an increased risk, according to of course what you do at Christmas. party and how many people are there. “

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