Customers who fail to show up at Christmas dinner have been criticized by pub bosses.
The Salty Dog Hotel and Bistro in Bangor, Northern Ireland, tweeted: ‘Thanks to the 20 per cent of customers who didn’t turn up today and didn’t bother telling us.
“You may have lost your deposit as well as a Christmas meal, but you lost much more. There have been no Christmas Day cancellations in the past ten years.
MPs and hospitality bosses have warned Boris Johnson not to bring in new restrictions before New Year’s Eve or risk ‘devastating’ businesses.
Tomorrow’s data will be provided to the Prime Minister. He or she could then decide whether further action is needed to stop the spread Omicron.
It comes after papers released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) on Friday included modelling for tighter restrictions from December 28 or New Year’s Day which could last as long as March 28.
Last night Tory MPs sent a warning shot to Mr Johnson and his government, warning them not to accept any lockdown measures.
Cabinet Ministers reject Government scientist proposals to tighten rules prior to Christmas.
The Salty Dog Hotel and Bistro in Bangor, Northern Ireland, tweeted: ‘Thanks to the 20 per cent of customers who didn’t turn up today and didn’t bother telling us’
MPs and hospitality bosses have warned Boris Johnson not to bring in new restrictions before New Year’s Eve or risk ‘devastating’ businesses
One MP, who is a member of the Tory backbench Covid Recovery Group, said: ‘If it turns out that Cabinet Ministers last week just delayed more business-crushing, illiberal restrictions till after Christmas, then not one of them deserves my vote in a future leadership election.’
Separately another Tory MP, Alec Shelbrooke, said of the Sage papers: ‘Despite this new warning, the Prime Minister must stand firm and refuse to impose new restrictions this week.
‘We’ve had dire forecasts before that have not come true. There is no justification for ruining people’s New Year celebrations and inflicting yet more damage on our economy.’
Omicron has been shown to have a lower risk of hospitalisation in comparison to the Delta variant. Therefore, Johnson does not expect to put into place any legal restrictions.
The Prime Minister might issue guidance to people telling them to keep their contact limits in a less likely situation.
Tomorrow, the Prime Minister will receive the most recent data about hospital admissions. The information could be used to inform his decision on how to reduce Omicron’s spread.
But writing in The Mail on Sunday, Sir Graham Brady, who chairs the influential 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, warns Mr Johnson not to do anything to ruin New Year’s Eve plans.
‘Enough is enough,’ he writes. ‘There must be no new unnecessary restrictions this week whether the PM sees fit to recall Parliament for an emergency session or whether he resorts simply to more guidance.’
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade association UK Hospitality, said: ‘For many beleaguered hospitality businesses the New Year period is the last chance they have of making some much needed revenue to be able to get them through the lean months of January and February.’
Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: ‘The uncertainty is killing our sector at the moment.
‘If the Government closes businesses for New Year’s Eve, people will simply gather in people’s households or at illegal events and it’s going to be counterproductive.’
Des Gunewardena, chief executive of the D&D London group, which owns 40 venues including Bluebird and Le Pont de la Tour, said: ‘New Year’s Eve is massive, it’s the biggest night of the year for us across all of our restaurants.’
Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church’s head in England and Wales has called on the Government to stop closing churches and other places of worship.
Speaking to the BBC, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: ‘I think this country has shown that people can make good judgments themselves.
‘We’re at that point of saying we understand the risk. What should we do? People are generally sensible and prudent. We don’t need stronger impositions to teach us what to do.’
But a Government source told The Mail on Sunday there is a ‘danger’ that people who were careful in the run up to Christmas to be able to see their loved ones will start mixing more after today.
Yesterday evening, Tory MPs sent a warning shot to Mr Johnson and his government to resist any lockdown actions
However the source said the overall picture on Omicron is ‘more optimistic than people thought’.
Tomorrow a ‘Covid-O’ committee of Ministers and officials will discuss the frontline staff shortages as a result of Omicron spreading.
The meeting will be attended by Rishi Sunak (Chief) and Sajid Javid, Health Secretary.
The appeals from MPs and business leaders came as new Sage papers and fresh modelling warned that Omicron may yet lead to a higher peak of hospitalisations than last winter’s – despite its lower severity and widespread vaccination.
The number of hospitalisations in January 2014 was 4,583, more than four times as high as the present rate.
But although three UK studies last week found that Omicron was much less virulent than Delta – between 15 and 70 per cent less likely to lead to hospitalisation – Sage cautioned against optimism.
These figures are mainly based upon younger individuals who have borne the majority of infection so far, according to it.
Covid is 60 times more common in people unjabbed than those who have been bitten.
By Stephen Adams Medical Editor
Startling statistics reveal that people caught by Covid from unvaccinated are 60 percent more likely to be admitted to intensive care than those who were jabbed.
And the difference that vaccination makes to the chance of needing intensive care is starkest among older people – who are more likely to suffer serious Covid illness in the first place.
According to the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre ICNARC, figures from units throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland show that the admission rate for Covid victims in their 60s who were double-jabbed between May and Nov was only 0.6 cases per 100,000.
But among people of the same age who remained unvaccinated, the rate was 37.3 per 100,000 per week – equating to a relative risk about 60 times higher.
There was almost a 30 fold difference between weekly admissions rates for those aged 50-70 in the average of the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated among people in their 70s and 80s.
In younger age groups the difference was lower but still marked – unvaccinated people in their 30s and 40s were between ten and 15 times more likely to end up in intensive care with Covid than those who had received their jabs.
Last night an intensive care consultant in London said the unvaccinated were putting ‘extra pressure’ on intensive care units (ICUs), which also care for people with a wide range of problems from accidents to medical emergencies.
The doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘Their presence puts extra pressure on our service. These people would have been enjoying Christmas if they had been jabbed. The worry is more unvaccinated with Omicron coming through our doors.’
Even though people who have forsaken the jab make up only seven per cent of the country’s adult population, they are now responsible for the lion’s share of Covid admissions to ICUs.
Separately, a study by the Intensive Care Society showed that more than two thirds of Covid patients weren’t vaccinated in twelve of sixteen ICUs.
At present, between 25 and 30 per cent of some 800 intensive care beds in London’s hospitals are filled by Covid patients, which is thought to be slightly higher than the national average.
Last week Health Secretary Sajid Javid urged unvaccinated people to ‘think about the damage that they are doing to society’.
He told Sky News: ‘They take up hospital beds that could have been used for someone with maybe a heart problem, or maybe someone who’s waiting for surgery. But instead of protecting themselves and protecting the community, they choose not to get vaccinated.’
The consultant said despite Omicron being less likely on average to cause serious illness than Delta, there was nothing ‘mild’ about it for those who did need hospital treatment.
Those who end up in hospital after catching the variant are ‘quite unwell and many need oxygen continuously through a mask’, he said.
‘People should know that having to be admitted to hospital with Omicron means they are seriously ill,’ he added ‘These people are quite sick and some of them have reached intensive care.
‘But even being on a general ward with this mutation requires a lot of treatment to get people better again. They will typically be admitted to hospital for several weeks.
‘So my message to anyone who thinks it’s not worth getting vaccinated or is not fully protected, is to get jabbed because you could be one of those who ends up spending weeks in hospital.’
After testing positive for Covid in December, 750,000 individuals spent Christmas alone.
A record number of Covid-positive people tested positive in the past week, resulting in Christmas self-isolation for around 34 million.
The UK has recorded 707 306 confirmed Covid infections in the period December 18-24.
In addition, thousands more will have received a positive test result yesterday – brutally cutting short their Christmas celebrations as rules stipulate that individuals must self-isolate immediately.
James Cracknell was a 49-year-old adventurer and rower.
One of those on that boat was adventurer and rower James Cracknell, 49
At lunchtime the double Olympic champion tweeted: ‘Santa dropped off what I’d been “waiting all year for”. Covid.’
Cracknell showed Dug his positive lateral flow test and accompanied his upbeat message with a photo of Dug.
He added: ‘Trying to explain to Dug that I’m not just lazy. He’s not buying it. Have a fantastic Christmas everyone.’
Oxford University’s Professor Sir John Bell, who helped develop the AstraZeneca vaccine, also revealed that he is positive, telling BBC Radio 4: ‘I’m sitting here with Omicron at this very moment.’
He said that although jabs were ‘spectacularly good at stopping severe disease and death’, they were less effective at preventing infection and mild illness.
People with Covid were required to isolate themselves for 10 days after a positive result.
This was however reduced to seven days provided that the person fails a lateral flow test at day six or seven.
South Africa loosens the self-isolation restrictions as Omicron diminishes in its original province
By Stephen Adams
SOUTH Africa has reduced contact-tracing requirements and required people to self-isolate in order to move towards covid living rather than trying contain it.
On Friday, the government announced several changes. It said that anyone who has been in contact to a confirmed Covid patient will not have to isolate them if there are no symptoms.
You should only monitor your health for 5 to 7 days, and try to avoid large social gatherings.
Quarantine outside of the home must be stopped. Contact tracing will not be allowed except in certain situations, such as cluster outbreak tracking.
Deputy health minister Sibongiseni Dhlomo told broadcaster SABC the move was ‘based on advice from our scientists that it is not really having an impact any more’.
Harry Moultrie, of the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, welcomed the changes.
He tweeted: ‘South Africa cancels contact tracing and quarantining and pivots to mitigation. Good decision.’
South Africa’s health department cited the emergence of the highly infectious, but milder Omicron strain as one of the reasons for the change.
Another reason was that 60% of people have some protection against vaccinations or were previously infected.
Daily Covid cases in Gauteng province, where Omicron first exploded, have been in retreat for more than a week despite the lack of strict social-distancing laws, leading to hopes that the variant’s natural course is a sharp but short wave of infection.
South Africa, which has 60 million people compared to the UK’s 68 million, has recorded almost 91,000 Covid-related deaths while the UK’s figure is just under 148,000.