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In his Christmas Eve message, the Prime Minister says families can raise a glass together without the strict Covid restrictions in place for households a year ago. He warns the pandemic is not over with Omicron “surging” around the UK and urges people to be cautious as they gather together. But Mr Johnson repeats his appeal for everyone who is eligible over 12 to get their jabs. He said: “There is still a wonderful thing you can give your family and the whole country and that is to get that jab.”
The PM’s message comes after ministers decided against imposing curbs before Christmas Day. It is also hoped that further measures can be avoided next week after scientific research suggested the super-infectious variant was milder than previous Covid strains. Mr Johnson said: “After two years of this pandemic I can’t say that we are through it.
“How can I? When Omicron is surging, when we all know we must together try to stop the spread of this new variant. We must test ourselves and take extra care when meeting elderly or vulnerable relatives.We know that things remain difficult.
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“But for millions of families up and down the country, this Christmas is, and will be, significantly better than the last. We can celebrate together with those we love and raise our glasses to those who can’t be with us.And if this year you need a bigger turkey and there are more sprouts to peel and washing up to do, then that is all to the good, because these rituals matter so deeply. I hope people enjoy this Christmas all the more keenly because of what we had to miss last year.”
Mr Johnson also cited the religious roots of the Christmas story. The PM said: “I hope I can be forgiven for taking pride in the immense spirit of neighbourliness that the people of this country have shown, getting jabbed not just for themselves, for ourselves, but for friends and family and everyone we meet.
“And that, after all, is the teaching of Jesus Christ, whose birth is at the heart of this festival – that we should love our neighbours as we love ourselves.And so let’s think of all those who are being good neighbours and thinking of others.All those in the NHS, our care workers, everyone involved in the incredible vaccination campaign; those looking after people who have lost loved ones this year.”
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