British minister warns against 'snogging under the mistletoe' this year

A U.K. minister is cautioning against being too jolly this holiday season, warning people to avoid kissing strangers under the mistletoe, as authorities work to combat the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant. 

Thérèse Coffey, who serves as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in Prime Minister Boris JohnsonBoris JohnsonKremlin: Sanctions wouldn't hurt Putin personally The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Russia attack 'would change the world' London police investigating Downing Street lockdown parties MORE's Cabinet, said in an interview with ITV that "I don’t think there should be much snogging under the mistletoe. Don’t need to do things like that."

"But I think we should all be trying to enjoy the Christmas ahead of us, and that's why we’re working so hard to get the deployment of as many vaccines as possible," she said.

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After her comments sparked criticism online, Coffey tweeted that people should "watch the full interview," adding, "don't kiss with people you don't know."

She said the British government is working "exceptionally hard" with the National Health Service "and the Jabs Army to get boosters in arms so we can all enjoy a proper Christmas."

Johnson's official spokesperson has distanced himself from the comments, telling iNews UK, there are only a "small number of restrictions on a precautionary basis we have taken in response to this variant. Beyond that, the position has not changed and there are no further restrictions or guidance."

This comes as Johnson has faced increasing criticism from the British public after reports emerged that witnesses detail midnight party games and festivities at No. 10 Downing Street during the winter 2020 lockdown, The Guardian reported.
 
 
This year, Johnson has urged the British public to continue their Christmas plans as normal and not cancel festive celebrations.