According to the source, the decision is a precautionary one as it is felt the lunch would put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead.
While there is “regret” that the lunch has been canceled, the source added, there is a belief it is “the right thing to do” for all concerned.
The decision comes after strong warnings by England’s chief medical officer about the spread of the Omicron variant, calling on people to be careful so that Christmas could be preserved.
Professor Chris Whitty said people should “prioritise what matters to them” when considering attending parties and other events during the Christmas period.
The Omicron coronavirus variant is spreading at a rate not seen with previous variants, according to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
On Monday, the UK reported its first death from the variant, and on Wednesday it reported 78,610 new cases of the coronavirus — the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began.
The previous record of daily new infections was 68,053 on January 8.
This is a developing story. Check back for further updates.
Queen Elizabeth II cancels pre-Christmas family lunch