Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said that people could help keep the new variant at bay by cutting down social contacts over the festive period and “not socialising when we don’t particularly need to”. Other senior medics have echoed her advice.
But Mr Johnson said the government was “not changing the guidance on how you should be living your life” and urged people not to cancel events like Christmas parties and nativity plays.
He believes that a push to increase the "booster jab" rollout will be sufficient to ward of the dangers of the new variant. Johnson talks of injection sites popping up like Christmas trees. However, even the best estimates show that it will take until the end of January to get booster jabs into people's arms. Added to which, it isn't yet clear whether the current vaccines will protect us against the new variant.
As he has done throughout the pandemic, Johnson is gambling that, with minimum measures in place, everything will be still be OK.
As I have said here before, there is a lack of trust in the PMs actions. Many venues are already facing cancellations as people are choosing caution over optimism. Schools are weighing up whether a virtual nativity would be safer than one where their halls would be crammed with parents and relatives.
In the end, who's opinion would you trust more, well respected and qualified medical experts or Boris? I suspect many would no more take his advice on Covid than his recommendation for a good hairdresser.
As for plans to visit England for Christmas
The World Health Organisation advice is -
“Persons who are unwell or at risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease and dying, including people 60 years of age or older or those with comorbidities (e.g. heart disease, cancer and diabetes), should be advised to postpone travel.”