The public has been urged not to cancel their Christmas parties, despite Government departments cancelling festive celebrations.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) is among the Government teams ditching plans for a pre-Christmas get-together in 2021. 

But No 10 stressed that people should continue to attend Christmas parties as the current set of Covid regulations does not dictate Christmas party sizes.

It comes after a similar message from the health minister Sajid Javid, who said there was not "any need to change" or cancel Christmas events.

Are Christmas parties allowed this year?

Asked why Government departments were cancelling festive celebrations despite Boris Johnson urging people not to, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “On Christmas parties, we don’t want people to cancel such events. There is no Government guidance to that end.

“It is right that post-Step 4 (of the road map out of lockdown), we returned to the position where people can use their individual judgment, but there is certainly no Government guidance to that end, and the Prime Minister has been very clear.”

Asked what Mr Johnson made of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) deciding to ditch plans for a pre-Christmas get-together, the spokesman said he had not spoken to the Prime Minister about it.

Will there be limits on Christmas party numbers?

Asked whether business minister George Freeman had been setting out his own personal position when he suggested larger businesses might consider scaling back or forgoing staff festive parties, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I think, as you know, Government advice does not set any limits on numbers (in the) guidance.”

Read more: Will there be another lockdown at Christmas? What we know

The No 10 official added: “There is nothing in the rules to prevent anyone from having Christmas parties or gathering in that way.

“There are a limited number of restrictions that we have set out on a precautionary basis while we do further investigation into this variant.

“Beyond that, the position has not changed since we moved past Step 4.”

Asked whether Mr Freeman was wrong to imply that firms should consider not having a Christmas party or replace it with a smaller gathering, the Prime Minister's spokesman replied: “That is not in the guidance, it is not in the regulations.”