According to a new survey, 52 per cent of UK workplaces have decided not to hold a Christmas office party. A survey of 2,000 UK office workers – carried out by Prenetics – found that only 41 per cent of workplaces have decided to carry on with an in-person party, especially with the presence of the Omicron variant.

Of those holding parties, one in four employees (24 per cent) have decided to stay home as it’s too risky and 67 per cent of those still going, plan to take a lateral flow test beforehand to be on the safe side.

Forty-five per cent said fellow employees who’d not been doubled jabbed should be banned from the office party.

Firms holding parties have also decided to be cautious.

  • 13 per cent of workplaces were banning kissing at the office party, ten per cent were stopping standing at the bar and eight per cent were preventing staff from dancing.
  • 27 per cent are insisting on a negative lateral flow test or proof of being doubled jabbed.
  • 19 per cent want social distancing during eating
  • 19 per cent are insisting on staff wearing masks whilst walking round the venue.

The survey, which was completed when Omicron was discovered last week, found offices and hotels are now the least popular place to hold the Christmas party. Only 17 per cent are celebrating at their place of work or a hotel, with restaurants the most popular with 36 per cent and pubs with 24 per cent.

Prenetics, which is on the UK Government approved lists of PCR and lateral flow test providers, provided COVID testing services for football, English Test Cricket and British Boxing this year and helped the movie industry return to filming cinema blockbusters by running testing services at large film studios, including Pinewood and Longcross.

Avi Lasarow, EMEA CEO of Prenetics, who travelled back from South Africa last week and is following Government advice to self-isolate at home, said: “It’s clearly that many workplaces have decided to cancel Christmas office parties for a second year running. Those who are going to one are clearly taking no chances with two thirds of office workers planning to follow Government advice and take a lateral flow test before going to the party.

“The Government has recently advised that the public should take lateral flow tests if they’re in ‘high risk situations’ over the Christmas period and the office party is clearly seen as one of them.

“Our advice to anyone going to a Christmas office party is have fun but go with the lat flow by getting tested before you go and take a second test five to seven days after the party. This will help to ensure if positive you may have enough time to isolate at home and not ruin your family Christmas.”