Office Christmas parties are ON: Kwasi Kwarteng says staff should ‘absolutely’ pay deposits for festive gatherings despite fears of return of Covid rules amid rising case numbers as No10 says it does not want to reimpose ‘diktats’
- Kwasi Kwarteng said it is ‘absolutely’ worth it to pay deposit for a Xmas party
- Mr Kwarteng said he is looking forward ‘to having a Christmas party as usual’
- Downing Street has said that it does not want to reimpose coronavirus ‘diktats’
- Comes amid calls from health bosses for return of Covid rules amid cases spike
Kwasi Kwarteng today insisted people should ‘absolutely’ book office Christmas parties despite rising fears coronavirus restrictions could be reintroduced.
The Business Secretary said he had already put a deposit down and he is looking forward to ‘having a Christmas party as usual’.
Meanwhile, Downing Street said Boris Johnson does not want to return to ‘imposing diktats on people’.
Health chiefs are urging the Government to bring back some Covid-19 curbs to tackle an ongoing spike in case numbers.
But ministers are resisting the calls, with Mr Kwarteng today categorically ruling out another national lockdown.
Kwasi Kwarteng today insisted people should ‘absolutely’ book office Christmas parties despite rising fears coronavirus restrictions could be reintroduced
The Government yesterday said a further 223 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 – bringing the UK total to 138,852.
While the numbers are often higher on Tuesdays because of a lag in reporting deaths and cases over the weekend, that was the highest figure for daily reported deaths since March 9.
Meanwhile, the seven-day average for cases is standing at 44,145 infections per day – the highest level for almost three months.
Health bosses want ministers to trigger the Government’s ‘Plan B’ which would see the reintroduction of requirements to wear face masks and the compulsory use of vaccine passports to enter England’s nightclubs and other crowded venues.
The surge in case numbers and NHS demands for the reintroduction of some curbs have prompted concerns that Christmas parties could be axed.
But Mr Kwarteng said this morning it is ‘absolutely’ worth it to pay a deposit on a party.
Asked on Times Radio whether it was wise to pay money towards a party, he said: ‘Absolutely. I think I already have, we’ve got some arrangements in place and I look forward to having a Christmas party as usual.’
Asked if Mr Johnson agreed with the Business Secretary, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: ‘We have said that we don’t want to be imposing diktats on people.’
Downing Street said Boris Johnson does not want to return to ‘imposing diktats on people’. (Stock image of a Christmas party)
Mr Kwarteng said this morning that he would ‘rule out’ another national lockdown being imposed.
He was asked on Sky News about some experts saying a further shutdown could not be discounted.
He replied: ‘No, I would rule that out. Throughout this process, there’ve been people saying the lockdown was unnecessary, there have been other people saying we should continue the lockdown. We’ve really plotted a path between those two extremes.’
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