Avoid 'snogging under the mistletoe' to slow Covid spread, says Suffolk MP

Therese Coffey told Robert Peston on ITV that people should avoid "snogging under the mistletoe" this Christmas.

Therese Coffey told Robert Peston on ITV that people should avoid "snogging under the mistletoe" this Christmas. - Credit: PA

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has warned people to avoid "snogging under the mistletoe" at Christmas parties to help stop the spread of the Omicron variant.

Dr Coffey, who runs the Department for Work and Pensions, told ITV's Peston programme that "we should all be trying to enjoy the Christmas ahead of us”.

But added: “For what it’s worth, I don’t think there should be much snogging under the mistletoe.

“(You) don’t need to do things like that. But I think we should all be trying to enjoy the Christmas ahead of us and that’s why we’re working so hard to get the deployment of as many vaccines as possible.”

The comments come after Dr Jenny Harries, one of the UK's top public health experts, and prime minister Boris Johnson gave contradictory advice over whether people should attend Christmas parties.

Dr Coffey took to Twitter after her television appearance to clarify her comments, stating that people should not be kissing people they "don't know" under the mistletoe.