Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse suggested officers should investigate whether a party was held in No 10 Downing Street during coronavirus restrictions, if a report is made.

The MP for North West Hampshire told Sky News: "No 10 are reassuring everybody that all rules were complied with during that period and I take that reassurance at face value but no doubt if the police are alerted they will have a look and they will form a view and we'll learn more about it in the days to come.

"The police should be investigating anything that is a historic crime to them.

"If reports are made then inquiries should follow and let's see where it goes after that."

But the minister for crime and policing also said he believes Downing Street's assurances that any Christmas party held in No 10 last year would have complied with the rules.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said she will "look into" what communication there was with the Metropolitan Police about allegations a party took place in No 10 Downing Street during coronavirus restrictions last year.

Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said on Friday morning that she was not aware of any complaints being received on the issue at that stage.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I asked whether regulations were complied with as part of my briefing for this interview, and I was reassured that all the regulations were complied with."

Pressed whether he asked how that could be the case considering how the event has been described, he said: "I'm not an investigator. My job is to seek reassurance because I thought I would get this question, and that's what I've done.

"I asked the question 'Were all the regulations complied with?'. I was reassured they were, I have to take that at face value. That's absolutely what I'm sure is the case; it's for others if they want to decide to take it further.

"They reassured me that all the regulations were followed and of course I believe them."

He declined to say whether it would have been within the rules for BBC staff to have held a party with drinks, nibbles and party games, dismissing it as a "hypothetical question".

People with cold-like symptoms should work from home and avoid Christmas parties in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus, according to Tim Spector, from the Covid Zoe app.

The professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London told Times Radio the UK should be "much more open-minded about who we are testing" and "get more people to isolate at least for a few days with cold-like symptoms".

"At the moment, we're estimating that somewhere between one and three and one in four colds are actually due to Covid," he said.

"And so that's quite a high rate of people that are currently not even bothered to get a lateral flow test, or getting a PCR test, going to parties and spreading it around.

"So if that transfers to Omicron then we're going to be compiling that problem much faster than we would need to."

He added: "We want to tell people that if you don't feel well that day, don't go out, don't go to work, work from home, because the start of that sniffle, the start of that sore throat, that headache could be a mild dose of Covid that is just breaking through your vaccine.

"So I think everyone needs to be much more aware of a whole range of symptoms and not wait for the loss of smell or taste which may never come, not wait for fever, not wait for that persistent cough."

Professor Tim Spector said people with cold-like symptoms should isolate for the first few days while they are most contagious.

"That's when you're most contagious, that's when you're most likely to transmit," the professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London told Times Radio.

"Whether it's a respiratory virus, you're just giving someone a cold, or you might be giving them Omicron or Delta, then it's those first few days.

"And so we should really be encouraging people not to come in to the office, not to go to that Christmas party if they're feeling unwell.

"Take a test and then, when the symptoms subside, then they can come out - it doesn't have to be 10 days but just those first few days are probably the most crucial.

"I think we need to get that message out there if we're going to really have an impact in the next few weeks."

Boris Johnson has denied scientists' allegations that introducing travel restrictions to slow the spread of Omicron is like "shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted".

Visiting police in Merseyside, the Prime Minister told reporters: "No, I think what we're doing is responding to the pandemic.

"We were the first country in the world to take decisive measures to tackle Omicron. We put about 10 countries automatically, immediately, on to the red list and we said that anybody coming from any country in the world would have to quarantine for a couple of days.

"We're now going further and toughening those measures up as we see the spread of Omicron around the world.

"I don't think we need to change the overall guidance and advice we're giving about Omicron in this country. We're still waiting to see exactly how dangerous it is, what sort of effect it has in terms of deaths and hospitalisations."

Critical care consultant Dr Zudin Puthucheary said it could be five years before Covid-19 intensive care unit (ICU) patients "reach their normal lives again".

The member of the Intensive Care Society Council raised concerns that there are not enough staff to rehabilitate patients who are treated in ICUs.

He told Sky News: "People who have chosen to be unvaccinated make up the vast majority of patients on the intensive care unit at the moment, and certainly most of our pregnant patients are unvaccinated.

"These are the young people - the vast majority of them do survive, 60% of our patients are currently surviving.

"But that survival comes with a huge cost and that needs rehabilitation. We don't have the staff, have the resources to rehabilitate these patients, and it may be up to five years before they reach their normal lives again.

"But 40% of these people are dying, and they don't need to die had they been vaccinated."

Asked about winter pressures on the NHS, he said: "Things aren't great in hospitals right now. As we gear up for winter, we have intensive care units that are full, wards that are full and a dropping number of stuff."