Home Secretary Priti Patel said she would inform police if she saw people breaching coronavirus rules over Christmas but stressed that officers would focus on “egregious breaches” of the law.
She said that “nothing will change” over Christmas in terms of the police’s role in enforcing the law.
The current rules allow three households to form a festive bubble between December 23 and 27 except in Wales, where the law is being changed to restrict it to two.
But Boris Johnson has stressed that is the maximum permitted amount of mixing and has strongly urged people to have a low-key Christmas by scaling-back travel plans and social contact.
Asked if she would advise the public to report breaches over the festive period, the Home Secretary told BBC Breakfast: “Any individual that saw any laws being broken would take that upon themselves.
“If I saw somebody flouting coronavirus regulations and the laws, of course I would look to inform the police about that.
“The public are part of this … we do see the public and the police working together.”
Ms Patel denied that police would lessen their enforcement of coronavirus laws over Christmas.
“Nothing will change in terms of enforcement of coronavirus laws and regulations,” she said.
She told Sky News: “Their role is to enforce against the egregious breaches, the raves, the house parties, anything basically that is in breach of the rules that would effectively lead to the spread of the virus.”
The Home Secretary plans to visit frontline police officers at Christmas before spending the day with her “very, very tight and small family bubble”.