Civil Because they are afraid it might offend minorities, servants blocked the use of the term “Christmas” in an effort to avoid a winter Covid crisis.
The Mail received emails containing details of the ban. On Sunday Boris Johnson made public the tightening travel restrictions and the introduction of new mask rules to try to stop the spread Omicron.
Ministers had also planned a publicity blitz telling students to get tested before returning to their families using the slogan: ‘Don’t take Covid home for Christmas’ – but it was vetoed by Cabinet Office officials.
The move sparked a row over ‘wokeism’ in the Civil Service – which has been disparagingly nicknamed ‘The Blob’ by critics – with one Muslim Tory MP branding the ban ‘ridiculous’.
Muslim Tory MP Saqib Bhat (pictured) has labelled the ban on civil servants from blocking ‘Christmas” publicity efforts to prevent a winter Covid crises as ‘ridiculous.
The Prime Minister announced last night that winter travel plans were in chaos. He ordered that all travelers arriving in the country should self-isolate for at least 10 days, and anyone who has come in contact with someone with the mutation, must remain home.
Public transport will require the use of masks in all shops and public transportation. Experts will also be required to wear them in retail establishments.
Johnson stated that he hoped that the measures would be lifted again and that they will continue to put us in a good position. However, for now it is necessary to take responsible action to stop the spreading of the new virus and maximize our defenses to protect all the hard work we have done.
The Downing Street announcement came after two people in the UK were found to be infected with the new variant – one in Brentwood, Essex, and the other in Nottingham. Both of these cases have been linked to traveling in southern Africa.
The infected person was likely to be double-vaccinated. Swabs of their mouths are currently being examined by both the Government’s Porton Down research laboratory, Wiltshire, as well as the vaccine makers AstraZenica, Pfizer.
To suppress the winter spike Ministers devised plans to advertise the “Don’t Take Covid Home for Christmas” campaign to students. It will run between December 3 and 17.
It is currently being held back by the Cabinet Office because it does not include enough information.
In order to encourage the nearly 1.2million students that will soon be returning to school at the end the term, government officials plan to use TikTok social media “influencers” to push them to complete a Covid exam before they go.
Sajid Javid, today of Britain’s Omicron variant sequencing program, announced today that two British cases have been sequenced in Nottingham and Chelmsford.
Today saw another 39,567 Covid cases in Britain and 131 deaths. Department of Health officials posted nearly 40,000 daily infections – down 3.36 per cent from 40,941 last Saturday – while the number of people who have died 28 days after testing positive for Covid has also fallen by 12.7 per cent from 150 last week
Data from Office for National Statistics (ONS), estimated that around 862 300 people contracted the virus in any day of the week through November 20, up 4.5% on the 824.900 week prior
But in an email sent on Thursday, an official said: ‘We have been advised by Cabinet Office that we should not use the word Christmas – as the Government campaign needs to be inclusive and some religions don’t celebrate Christmas…
The other choice was to choose a festive season, which retains emotional motivation. We have gone with ‘Don’t take Covid-19 home for the holidays’ – as it links to school and university Christmas holidays. It is memorable and scans well that the alliteration of ‘home’ with ‘holidays” was used.
An official objected that Christmas is not a holiday (which is an Americanism). Can we please say: ‘Don’t take Covid-19 back’.
Saqib Bhat, Conservative MP for Meriden said, last night, that he found it absurd that this time of year could not be enjoyed as a Muslim. My son will be able to see his first Christmas tree. It is absurd to think you cannot mention Christmas.
It’s time to be happy, no matter your heritage. It is part and parcel of British culture, which I love. This country is the most open to all cultures.
“I am proud of it and I’m proud to celebrate Christmas. Stop waging war on Christmas by the Blob and continue delivering services for British people.
- Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, gave an interview to this newspaper in which he announced a new programme called ‘NHS Reserves.’ It is modeled on Army reserves and includes retired doctors and logisticians who are able to step into action should the NHS be under stress during winter.
- The number of Covid hospital admissions fell 11.2 per cent over the previous seven days to 768 and the number of deaths dropped by 16.8 per cent to 131 – but the number of positive tests rose 8.6 per cent to 39,567;
- Over 17,000,000 booster doses were administered, which is almost 30% of all over-12s.
- More than ten per cent of the 600 passengers arriving in the Netherlands from South Africa yesterday tested positive for Covid on PCR tests – despite having to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 24 hours of departure.
Johnson stated that they will review the measure in three weeks. Within days, the new rules for masks will be mandatory.
He added: ‘We aren’t going to stop people traveling. I want to emphasize that. But we will require any person entering the UK for a PCR testing by the close of the second day following their arrival. And to remain isolated until they get a negative test.
“We require any contact of anyone who tests positive for Omicron, regardless of vaccination status, to isolate themselves for 10 days.
“We also intend to ask you to do more in order stop this strain from spreading by tightening the regulations on the wearing of facecovers on public transportation and shops.