Michael Gove has insisted Christmas will not be cancelled because of coronavirus – and that pubs will stay open.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to tell the nation later on Tuesday that they should work from home and impose new restrictions on pubs, bars and restaurants as part of an attempt to tackle the swiftly accelerating second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak.
But Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove told Sky News that hospitality venues "will stay open".
Mr Gove added the Government was taking "reluctant steps" with the new coronavirus measures, but added that they are "absolutely necessary".
"There will be more details that the Prime Minister will spell out, and again, one of the points that he'll make is that no one wants to do these things, no one wants to take these steps," he told Sky News.
"They are reluctant steps that we're taking, but they are absolutely necessary.
"Because as we were reminded yesterday, and as you've been reporting, the rate of infection is increasing, the number of people going to hospital is increasing, and therefore we need to act."
Mr Gove also told Sky News "we are not going to cancel Christmas".
The recently implemented rule of six had also led to fears over how families would spend Christmas together.
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