After returning from his California vacation, Rishi Sunak has been weighing the possibility of a VAT reduction and a cash injection for the ailing restaurants and pubs that have suffered from Omicron.

Hospitality firms are shaming the Chancellor after he just returned from a ‘work trip to the US’. This was despite Omicron’s rapid spread across the UK, leaving restaurants and pubs struggling to cope with falling demand.

As pictures of major UK cities revealed only a few revellers celebrating what was to be the most busy night of the year, Black Eye Friday, Mr Sunak was deemed ‘California’ Chancellor. 

Boris Johnson advised that the nation be careful during the holiday period. Professor Chris Whitty, who asked people to reduce their socializing has caused an uproar and forced many to cancel hospitality reservations.

Following Friday’s meeting between leaders in the hospitality industry, Mr Sunak was able to return to the UK and hold talks via video with Prime Minister David Cameron.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak pictured at Heathrow Airport as he returned from a 'long planned' work trip to California

Pictured at Heathrow Airport, Chancellor Rishi Sunak returns from California on a long-planned work trip.

A single customer sits at the bar in a near-empty pub in central London during the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year

In central London, a single customer is seen at the bar during last year’s coronavirus pandemic.

A source said that the Treasury was trying to create a ‘clear picture’ of key points for businesses so they can determine what assistance is needed from Government.

The report comes after a Conservative Party think tank reported that Government bailouts have “fostered an entitlement” and it is now a difficult task to restore expectation.

In the wake of Omicron’s rising threat, Pubs were unable to book Christmas parties and received Government guidance.

Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin also lashed out at ministers for pursuing ‘lockdown by stealth’, with pubs saying the new guidance had persuaded Many punters felt it wasn’t worth continuing with festive events.

One London hotel told MailOnline it was expecting £100,000 worth of losses from cancelled events, rooms and covers – and said many staff were fearing for their jobs given the extent the industry relies on a lucrative Christmas period.

Simon Clarke, Chief Secretary of the Treasury and the Chancellor, called the hospitality heads earlier this week. 

Downing Street stated that some of those participating were Prezzo and Black Sheep Brewery. Nando’s and Greene King also participated. Whitbread and Adnams are members of the Confederation of British Industry, British Chambers of Commerce and Federation of Wholesale Distributors.

In order to keep afloat, the survivors have requested a new support package that is similar to what was provided during the pandemic.

According to a Government source, however, the Times is not in the exact same financial situation and must be very precise regarding the funding.

Once-bustling streets in London's Soho district (above) were sparsely populated on Friday evening amid Omicron fears

Omicron fear had caused London’s once bustling streets of Soho to be sparsely populated by Friday evening.

Industry experts fear the Government's increasingly alarmist messages surrounding the Omicron mutant strain are affecting customer confidence over what should be a peak period for pubs, bars and restaurants. Pictured: A quiet Soho on Friday

Industry experts are concerned that Government messages concerning the Omicron mutant virus strain may be alarming customers and reducing customer confidence during peak times for restaurants, bars, and pubs. Pictured: A quiet Soho on Friday

A number of industry associations have advocated for increased cash grants in order to offset the loss businesses could suffer from a traditionally busy festive season.

Others have suggested that Mr Sunak was urged to restore the 5 per cent VAT in an emergency for tourism and hospitality firms, and also to reinstate 100 percent relief for retailers.

Sunak was reported to be looking at options such as a new emergency VAT reduction and further cash injections.

The Chancellor also considers what assistance might be necessary if additional restrictions are placed.

Professor Whitty, speaking at the Downing Street briefing last week, warned that Omicron’s ultra-infectious Omicron variant was going to break even more Covid records.

His advice was to prioritize the people they see in the lead up to Christmas. Otherwise, you risk contracting the virus and not being able to enjoy the festivities.

The Prime Minister ignored the pleas of scientists for a Christmas lockdown in an effort to stop the spread Omicron. There are ministers who said they were mulling new curbs following Boxing Day.

Chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Whitty both called for the Prime Minister’s immediate halt to indoor mixing.

 A report by the Conservative Policy Forum, though, called on ministers to ‘work towards a smaller Government with fewer laws and regulations’ – increasing pressure on Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak to resist handing out funding similar to the furlough scheme for businesses and workers.