‘Be sensible!’ Javid urges Brits to take Covid tests before going to Christmas parties

Covid-19: Javid advises people to test before Christmas parties

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid has urged people to take the swab if they attend any Christmas parties this month. Mr Javid explained that people should take the advice on board to protect themselves and others, irrespective of the new Omicron Covid variant, as indoor spaces are prime Covid hotspots for the transmission of the virus. When Sky News presenter Kay Burley asked him if people should take a test, he told her in no uncertain terms that it’s the best thing to do, highlighting how much quicker the virus spreads in wintertime and in closed places.

Mr Javid said: “I would. It’s not a formal recommendation [or] guidance but if I was going to a party with lots of people and things, I would.

“But I would have done that by the way even before I knew about this variant.

“The reason I’d have done that, it’s because it’s getting colder, it’s getting darker and we are spending more time indoors.

“Probably [there are] more people indoors than before just because of the colder, darker days. So, it’s a sensible precaution that everyone can take.”

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Mr Javid’s relaxed approach to the new variant stands in stark contrast to that of Jenny Harries.

The head of the UK Health Security Agency wants people to reduce their social interactions to control and slow down the spread of the new South African variant.

There are so far 22 confirmed cases in Britain.

But Mr Javid thinks that the new measures the government introduced will do the job.

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Covid-19: Sajid Javid asks public to 'follow rules' at Christmas

After over four months in which the wearing of masks was not mandatory in the UK, it has been reintroduced on public transport, supermarkets, shops, shopping centres, post offices, banks, estate and letting agents to stop the spread of the new Covid variant.

He added: “I think that we can go ahead with whatever we planned for Christmas, I think that’s absolutely fine.

“But what I will add to that is that we have always said even before this variant came along, that as we get into the colder, darker days of winter.

“Covid likes that and that the flu virus likes that, so it’s just a sensible time for everyone just to remember that and take whatever sort of cautious measures that they can.”

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London was plunged into a national lockdown over Christmas by prime minister Boris Johnson last year.

It was a dramatic U-turn which not many people saw that coming five days before Christmas but Mr Johnson saw no other choice to try to curb a highly infectious new strain of the virus at the time.

People can get tested free of charge in London even if they don’t have symptoms.

Those rapid lateral flow tests are available at The Church House Conference Centre in Westminster and at The Hall Place Test Centre in Paddington.

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