The Queen has cancelled her Christmas party amid soaring rates of Covid-19 in the UK.
It comes as France has imposed a ban on travel to and from the UK due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
The Queen was due to hold her usual pre-Christmas family gathering next week, where she was understood to have invited around 50 family members. She’s now called it off and, like many people across the UK, is scaling down her Christmas celebrations.
A spokesman from the palace said, ‘The pre-Christmas family lunch will not be going ahead.
‘The decision is a precautionary one as it is felt to put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead.
‘While there is regret that it is cancelled, there is a belief it is the right thing to do for all concerned.’
It’s understood that the Queen will still be hosting her immediate family over the festive period at Sandringham. It will be her first Christmas without Prince Philip, who sadly died in April this year.
The past two months have seen the Queen, 95, had to cancel some of her engagements due to illness. She was hospitalised for a night in October, and in November, she was also unable to attend the Remembrance Sunday service in person due to a back sprain.
There have been no other reports of illness from the palace since, and the Queen’s decision to cancel her big Christmas lunch is understood to be a ‘precautionary measure’.
The Queen’s decision to scale back her Christmas events comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson applauded people for going to get their booster jabs to curb the spread of the Omicron variant, while Professor Chris Whitty urged people to ‘prioritise’ the most important social gatherings over Christmas.
The same day, there were 78,610 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the highest level of daily cases recorded since January 2021.
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