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Professor Chris Whitty has warned any plans of hugging and kissing elderly relatives over Christmas should be forgotten so 'they want to survive to get hugged again'.
It will not illegal to hug and kiss older family members but Whitty says it "does not make sense."
The UK's Chief Medical Officer Professor made the statement during a Downing Street media briefing on coronavirus on Thursday afternoon.
In response to Mirror journalist Ben Glaze's question about the relaxed coronavirus restrictions over the festive period, Professor Whitty said: "Would I say people should hug and kiss their elderly relatives, no I would not."
The government announced on Monday that measures will be eased over the week Christmas despite the same privileges not being granted to other religious celebrations earlier in the year.
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All four UK nations have agreed to let Brits form a five-day bubble of three households over Christmas.
Professor Whitty said: "Would I want someone to see their family? Of course, that's what Christmas is about, whether people celebrate Christmas as a festival themselves or from any other belief system.
"It is an opportunity for families.
"But would I encourage someone to hug and kiss their elderly relatives? No, I would not.
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"It is not against the law – and that's the whole point.
"You can do it in the rules that are there but it does not make sense because you could be carrying the virus and if you've got an elderly relative, that would not be the thing you want to do in the period where we're running up to a point where we might be able to protect older people.
"I think people just have to have sense and this is very much what I think people will do."
The Prime Minister said that rules would have inevitably been flouted if they remained strict for Christmas.
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Relaxing certain restrictions, he argues provides a "sensible balance".
The Prime Minister said: "It is an incredibly difficult decision. You've got to strike a balance between people's strong desire to celebrate a family holiday, perhaps one of the most important family holidays of the year – which they frankly are going to do anyway – and the need to keep the virus under control.
"What we're trying to set out with the Christmas measures that we've agreed across the whole of the UK, because we want everyone across the UK to be able to travel to see relatives, is I think a sensible balance but it depends, as Chris (Whitty) and Patrick (Vallance) have really tried to stress in this session, on all of us being common sensical and doing the right thing.
"In the end… until the vaccine comes on stream, we are not out of the woods yet and we have to be very vigilant.
"So everybody's individual behaviour at Christmas will matter a great deal."
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