Christmas parties cancelled amid Omicron fears

The emergence of the Omicron variant has seen local business take a hit to Christmas bookings. Credit: Joe Lewis

FEARS are growing in the hospitality sector as Christmas party cancellations continue to increase.

Pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK are seeing more cancellations in the run up to Christmas amid fears surrounding the new Omicron variant.

The festive trading period is crucial for many hospitality venues, who rely on Christmas party bookings to get them through the quieter months in the new year.

Last year, the Christmas revenue in the hospitality sector plunged by almost 80% between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, compared to 2019.

The loss of a second year of festivities in a row could see many businesses close their doors permanently.

Local pub manager, Steven Carty, spoke about his concerns of the increasing Christmas cancellations, saying: “We’ve had one cancellation, as the director of the company was worried about the new strain.”

Steven, who manages the Mayflower Village Pub and Grill, is hopeful that the business will not suffer, as long as cancellations remain low.

“As long as the panto still goes ahead and nobody else cancels parties, we are going to be fine.”

Downing Street has come under fire today over Christmas parties held during last year’s lockdown.

London was under Tier 3 restrictions at the time, which meant people could not have any indoor gatherings outside their household or support bubble.

The Prime Minister has not denied parties were held but claims “all guidance was followed”.

Sir Keir Starmer criticised the Prime Minister for failing to follow the rules set for the public last Christmas.

Mr Johnson has urged people not to cancel their Christmas plans this year, despite the Omicron variant surfacing.

He is ignoring suggestions made by Science Minister, George Freeman, that big Christmas parties should be avoided.

The hospitality sector is worried Christmas party’s might be cancelled if the Omicron Virus worsens.

by Mia Thomas (@mia_a_thomas), Alexandra Martinez (@alexxandrajourn) and Joe Lewis (@Joe_lewis23)