Some NHS trusts are asking staff not to hold large Christmas parties, fearing that the Omicron variant would make it impossible for them to work. This was revealed by a chief of health today.  

Saffron Corery, the deputy chief executives of NHS Providers (which represents NHS trusts throughout England), said that many hospitals ask workers not to mix large groups during Christmas.

NHS leaders are trying to minimize the “potential threat” to the health of medics and to reduce the impact that catching the virus could have on their ability to do ‘whatever they can’.

The advice comes amid contradictory recommendations on what Britons should expect in the Christmas period following the advent of Omicron’s super mutant Omicron variation. 

Although there have been no regulations on social mixing in the UK, they do not currently impose any. Current legal restrictions require that people wear masks in certain situations and are also required to get tested for isolation when entering the country.

However, Dr Jenny Harries (chief executive at the UK Health Security Agency) said yesterday that people need to limit their contact with others in order to prevent the variant.

Yesterday’s Downing Street press conference was interrupted by the Prime Minister who disagreed and urged people not to cancel Christmas parties. 

Sajid Javid from the Health Ministry said this morning that Christmas parties should be allowed to go ahead, however it was a sensible precaution to have a Covid screening done before you attend. 

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, told Sky News: 'We know that many NHS trusts are, for example, asking their staff not to mix in big groups in the run up to Christmas because of the potential threat to their health and what they will be available to do'

Sky News spoke with Saffron Corery, the deputy chief executive at NHS Providers: We know that some NHS trusts have asked their staff, among other things, not to mix large groups of people in the lead up to Christmas. This is because they are concerned about their health and the work that their employees will do.

Asked whether parties and activities should be cancelled during a No10 press conference yesterday on the booster rollout, Boris Johnson said: 'We don't want people to cancel such events'. Pictured: The Prime Minister visiting a Christmas market last night

Boris Johnson, asked whether activities and parties should be cancelled at yesterday’s No10 press conference on booster rollout said that he didn’t think people would cancel these events. Picture: Prime Minister visits a Christmas market yesterday night 

Sky News asked Ms Cordery if people should attend Christmas parties. She said that it was a difficult and complicated issue. 

Omicron is resistant to boosters: Israeli scientists say that Pfizer jab gives up to 90% protection

Israeli health chiefs say that people who have received a Pfizer booster Covid vaccine within six months of their first jab should remain protected from Omicron.

Nitzan H. Horowitz, Minister of Health, yesterday stated, without citing data, that there was “room for optimism” and that the existing vaccines would protect against severe disease from super-strains. This statement was made based only on initial indications.

An Israeli news station reported that the Pfizer jab prevented Omicron-related symptoms for 90 percent of patients. This was only slightly more than Delta. 

The Channel 12 news broadcast also claimed the super variant is just 30 per cent more infectious than Delta — much lower than initially feared.

Comparatively, Delta is 70% more infective than Alpha, which it beat earlier this year. 

It will come as a relief for the UK, which launched last night a mammoth booster program for adults using Moderna and Pfizer’s jabs in the hopes of curbing the mutant variant. Israel is boosting its adult population ever since summer. 

Local reporters were told yesterday by Mr Horowitz that they will soon have more information on the effectiveness of the Omicron vaccine.

“But there is still reason to believe, as there are first indications that anyone who has been given a valid vaccine booster or a vaccine, can be protected from this variant.  

Last night, a spokesperson from the Health Ministry stated that it did not have the data released by Channel 12 and was still waiting for them to do so. 

“People will make their own decisions,” she said. Many NHS trusts, such as the one we know, ask their staff to avoid mixing large groups of people in the lead up to Christmas due to the possible threat to their health. They also want to make sure they have the right tools to help them do their job.   

“So, they’re setting an example. I don’t think there is any government advice at this time. I think individuals and organizations need to start thinking about Christmas. 

“It is really difficult and hard.

We encourage everybody to get their booster as soon as they are available. And to make sure everyone is ventilated.

As of now, 22 Omicron cases in the UK have been identified. 

Omicron, scientists believe, could prove more transmissible to vaccines than the Delta dominant variant. 

Dr Harries yesterday told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the variant could lead to a ‘significant impact’ on hospitalisations and decreasing social contacts would help ‘keep the variant at bay.’ 

She recommended ‘being cautious, not socializing when we don’t need to’ as well as getting a booster shot. 

These comments caused panic in the hotel industry, and helped to fuel a Tory backbench rebellion that saw Conservatives revolt over new restrictions.

Boris Johnson was asked if parties or nativities should not be cancelled at a No10 press conference about the booster rollout. He said that he didn’t think people would cancel these events, and that, in the end, it is best for children to attend school. This has been my opinion many times during this pandemic. 

In response to Omicron’s concerns, he also rejected the suggestion that English advice regarding working at home be reinstated.

He also said that he was going to Christmas parties and would take a Covid test prior to leaving.

According to him, BBC Radio 4’s Today program stated that if you’re invited to Christmas parties, you might want to do a LFT (lateral flow testing) before going.

“Go to the party. But be aware.”

If he were asked whether he would wear an mask to a party, Mr. Javid answered: “It all depends on if I’m walking or sitting down. It also depends on if you are eating. It is up to the individual to decide based upon this guidance.

Meanwhile, The Daily Mirror today reported claims that the Prime Minister and his Downing Street staff broke Covid rules by holding two festive gatherings at No10 last winter.

According to the newspaper, the Prime Minister gave a speech last November at a packed leave do for senior aides when the country was still in its second lockdown. 

According to his team, members of No10 held their own Christmas party before Christmas while London was under Tier 3 Covid restrictions.

It was claimed that in each instance, 40 to 50 people were crammed into a small room.

Johnson dodged questions regarding the party today at Prime Minister’s Question, but stated that ‘all guidelines were followed completely’. 

Labour leader Sir Keir starmer stated that the Covid rules stipulated at the time that you’must not have a Christmas dinner or party at work’. He added: “He takes the British public for fools.”