Health Secretary Sajid Javid has shared fresh guidance ahead of Christmas following the introduction of new Covid measures to halt the spread of the new Omicron variant.

His comments come the morning after joining Boris Johnson to hold a Downing Street press conference.

People who have been in contact with a Omicron coronavirus case will be required to self-isolate for 10 days under new measures regardless of how many vaccine jabs they have had.

Other new rules include mandatory wearing of face masks in shops and on public transport in England, stricter testing requirements for travel.


Confirmed UK Omicron variant cases


Sajid Javid shares guidance ahead of Christmas

Mr Javid called for “a bit of common sense” from people making plans ahead of the festive season.

Calling on people to be “sensible” the health secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “If you are invited to a Christmas party, there’s quite a few people there, maybe you want to take an LFT (lateral flow test) test before you go. Go to the party, but just be cautious.”

Asked if he would wear a mask if he was at a party, Mr Javid said: “It depends if I am walking around or sitting down. It depends if I’m eating. People just need to make a decision based on the guidance.”

Winsford Guardian: Mr Javid called for “a bit of common sense” from people making plans ahead of Christmas. (PA)Mr Javid called for “a bit of common sense” from people making plans ahead of Christmas. (PA)

The Cabinet minister defended the Government’s decision to make face coverings compulsory on public transport and in shops in England but not in hospitality settings.

“The job of government is to listen to expert advice and then make a balanced and proportionate judgment. That’s what we’ve done,” he said.

“We’ve acted swiftly. But I think what we’ve said on face coverings and the other measures that we have taken is a balanced and proportionate approach.”

Speaking to LBC he added:  “There’s no need to change our plans unless they’ve been affected by the new rules we’ve put in place.

“So, if you’re asked to self-isolate for example, because you’ve come into contact with someone with a suspected case of this new variant, then of course your plans are going to be affected…

Boris Johnson on a Covid Christmas lockdown

Winsford Guardian: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted he “cannot rule out” a fresh lockdown. (PA)Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted he “cannot rule out” a fresh lockdown. (PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted he “cannot rule out” a fresh lockdown.

Mr Johnson addressed the nation on Tuesday evening alongside Sajid Javid amid the concerning emergence of the Omicron variant.

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference he said: "We haven't ruled out anything, I've got to tell you"I think another lockdown of the kind that we've had before is extremely unlikely, I'll be upfront with you about that. But we keep everything under constant review.

"In our fight against the Delta variant, we think it has basically been going our way or going the way that we planned, so though cases remain high or high-ish, you are seeing a decline in the number of admissions to hospital and a decline in the number of deaths, and that's the crucial thing that we've been following.”

He added: "So, at the moment, we've seen no cause to move to Plan B but, as I've said to you many times before, we've got to keep that under review.

"But the measures we are talking about to deal with Omicron are, as I've said, distinct."