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Sadiq Khan has called on the Government to rethink the Christmas Covid rules as cases soar in London.

The Mayor of London suggested it was possible for the Christmas rules to be relaxed in a way that is “less unsafe” than currently planned.

Mr Khan also told families to be careful around their elderly loved ones, adding: “This virus doesn’t respect Christmas.”

It comes after a Government minister told families to do the “minimum” over Christmas and warnings from scientists that easing restrictions will cause a spike.

The Mayor told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “We heard from Matt Hancock yesterday that it appears the Government is looking at this again. I would encourage them to do so if they are.

“My concern is that many people may have the virus, not realise it, they could pass the virus onto an older relation.

“We are so close now to the end of this – the vaccine is being rolled out – and families will kick themselves if they pass the virus on during Christmas.”

The Mayor said he could fully understand why the Government allowed for a relaxation over Christmas but added: “I’m not sure whether five days’ worth of relaxation, three households, is the right way forward.”

Pressed if he was saying the Government needed to rethink those rules, he replied: “I’m concerned about going from Tier 2 to Tier 3 to Tier Zero to Tier 3 potentially to a national lockdown and the NHS being overwhelmed in January and lives being lost.”

Pressed again, he added: “I think the Government should be looking at the rules again.”

Mr Khan also said the rules were not “mandatory” and that just because families are allowed to see other households it does not mean they have to.

He added: “If you are seeing an older relation – for understandable reasons – there’s no need for you to kiss, hug and spend too much time embracing them.”

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