Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick insisted there will be no further changes to the Christmas plans despite speculation that more areas of England could be moved into a Tier 4 lockdown.
The communities secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the Covid operations committee will examine “what more we know now about the new variant” and its prevalence across the country.
“We know it’s very heavily concentrated in London and the East of England and the South East, but it’s not exclusively so, it’s also present more widely – that’s a source of concern,” he said.
But “tomorrow is Christmas Eve, we don’t have any intention of changing the guidelines with respect to Christmas”.
He went on: “We are not going to change people’s plans 24, 48 hours ahead of Christmas.
“However, the prime minister and others have been very clear that, even outside of Tier 4, there is a strong degree of personal judgment to be exercised here.
“It’s still up to people to come to a conclusion as to how many members of their family or other households they want to bring together on Christmas Day.
“The strong advice is to keep it small, to keep it short and therefore to be safe.”