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Christmas 'work from home' plans drawn up

The Government is drawing up new work from home plans in an attempt to slow the spread of the omicron variant, it was reported today.

The Telegraph reports officials have carried out modelling on the economic impact of telling people to work from home over the festive period.

The news comes amid growing fury over claims Downing Street staff ignored guidance by holding a Christmas party last year.

The move is being considered after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there were early indications that the omicron variant was spreading more quickly than delta, the current dominant strain.

Mr Johnson has said a review of the current rules will be held late next week.

The pressure to recommend a further period of working from home has intensified after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged companies to tell staff to stay away from offices until mid-January.

Booster jab bookings will today open for seven million people aged 40 and over, with the wait after second doses cut from six months to three in a further bid to slow the spread.

Meanwhile, there is growing fury after leaked footage showed the Prime Minister's aides joking about a festive gathering at Downing Street last Christmas.

The Conservative Party leader will be under the spotlight at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, with his opposite number likely to grill Mr Johnson for a second week running about what happened in Downing Street on December 18 last year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

In footage obtained by ITV News, the Prime Minister’s then press secretary Allegra Stratton and adviser Ed Oldfield, along with other aides, were filmed joking about a “fictional” Downing Street party in December 2020.

Ms Stratton is seen answering questions at a mock press conference on December 22 about a party the previous Friday – the date of the alleged Covid rule-breaking gathering which is said to have been attended by dozens of colleagues while social mixing indoors was banned in London under Tier 3 restrictions.

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