London roads were at their quietest since summer, when they were largely deserted due to increasing numbers of Britons who were working remotely.

The congestion level reported by TomTom in the capital between 8am and 9am today was 49 per cent – the lowest figure for that period since the end of the summer holidays on September 3, when half-term is excluded.

Today also brought the lowest term-time congestion level in the capital on a Thursday morning since July 22, which was three days after ‘Freedom Day’ when the UK’s third national Covid-19 lockdown officially ended.

Percentage is the time taken to complete a journey in a given amount of traffic. If there is no traffic, a trip of 30 minutes will take you 15 more minutes than if it were at 49 percent. 

According to the figures, Britons are continuing to avoid going into work following Chris Whitty’s call for restrictions on socializing last night. Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting that no festive plans should be cancelled due Omicron. 

On Christmas socialising, the Chief Medical Officer sent a strong message. He suggested that people should prioritize their family and avoid making new friends. He stated, “Don’t mix with people that you don’t have to.”

Mr Johnson urged care when seeing loved ones and friends – including taking a test before meeting anyone vulnerable – but added: ‘We are not cancelling events or closing hospitality. It is not our intention to cancel people’s events or restrict their ability for them to mix. We want you to consider carefully what event this is.  

This week’s 8am-9am congestion was at its lowest level, according to TomTom. Yesterday’s figure was 59%, 68% on Tuesday, and 60% on Monday. The figure was 68% last Thursday.

Half-term saw a Thursday drop to 31%, and summer break saw it hover between 25% and 39%. It was at 36% on July 22, the last time it fell below 49% outside of term-time.

The congestion in other UK cities was 51% in Birmingham and 50% in Manchester and Liverpool between 8am and 9am this morning. It was 47% and Sheffield respectively, while it was 46.6% in Leeds, 38% in Newcastle and 38% in Sheffield.

All these numbers were significantly lower than the time period last Thursday – the largest drop was in Manchester (down 27%) and Newcastle (12%) respectively).

Transport for London announced this week that Underground users have fallen by nearly one third over a single week. This is as Britons refuse to go into work.

London Bridge looks very quiet at 7.35am this morning as Britons continue to work from home after new guidance came in

London Bridge appears very still at 7.35 am this morning, after Britons continued to work remotely following new guidance.

Few commuters use London Waterloo station this morning as rail passenger numbers drop following the Omicron emergence

London Waterloo station is not used by commuters this morning, due to a drop in rail passenger numbers following Omicron’s emergence

A quiet Christmas market at Covent Garden in London this morning amid the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases

This morning, Covent Garden was quiet amid the swift rise of Covid-19 cases.

London Bridge looks far less busy than normal today just before 7am as a handful of people walk through the concourse

London Bridge is much quieter than usual at 7am, as only a few people stroll through it

An almost-empty escalator leading to the Underground platforms at London Waterloo train station this morning

A nearly empty elevator leading to Underground platforms at London Waterloo station.

A quiet Farringdon station during rush hour in Central London this morning as people get off an Underground train

Farringdon Station is quiet during the rush hour of Central London. People get off at Underground trains.

London Bridge looks far less busy than normal today just before 7am as workers decide against going into the office

London Bridge appears much less busy today than usual just before 7 am, as employees decide not to go into the office

An empty bar in London's Covent Garden called Mr Fogg's Tavern stores chairs inside while it is closed this morning

While it is currently closed, a bar called Mr. Fogg’s Tavern located in London’s Covent Garden houses chairs.

The Rail Delivery Group said train journeys across all of Britain have now fallen to July levels, with industry revenue down 23 per cent week-on-week this Monday, meaning it is now at just 43 per cent of pre-pandemic levels

Rail Delivery Group reported that train journeys throughout Britain fell to July levels. The industry’s revenue dropped 23 percent week-on–week on Monday. It is currently at only 43 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Up to 10 AM yesterday, only 960,000 Tube passengers were able to enter or leave the Tube. This was down 29% from Wednesday and just 44% below normal levels pre-pandemic.

Transport for London said that the bus use in London fell to 1.14 million Oyster, or contactless taps. This was down 9 percent from last week, but it is still 71% of pre-Covid figures.

Partly, the difference in Tubes and Buses is due to children who use them more often than buses. The other reason for this is that they are used less frequently by Londoners working in key roles such as teachers and cleaners.

This Tuesday, 1 million people used the Tube in the morning rush hour. It was 26% lower than Tuesday last week but still at 46% of pre-pandemic levels.

Nearly 2.1million Tube journeys were recorded on Tuesday. That’s 51% more than pre-pandemic and an 18% increase week-over-week.

TfL recorded 2.13 million Tube trips on Tuesday September 14, which was the most recent figure across the day. This is close to what we are seeing now.

A woman walks past a closed food outlet at Covent Garden in London this morning amid the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases

A Covid-19 case has seen a woman walk past an outlet for closed-door food at Covent Garden, London.

A man wearing a Christmas jumper walks past a large 'Merry Christmas' sign in London's Leicester Square this morning

This morning, a man in a Christmas jumper walks by a large “Merry Christmas” sign at London’s Leicester Square.

A small number of people on London Overground train at Canada Water station this morning on their way to work

Today, there were a few people who took the London Overground train to Canada Water station on their way from home.

Empty tables and chairs at Fumo Restaurant near Trafalgar Square in London this morning amid a surge in cancellations

Fumo Restaurant in London’s Trafalgar Square has seen empty chairs and tables this morning, despite a rise in cancellations

A very quiet Jubilee line platform at Canada Water station in London during rush hour this morning

The Canada Water station, London’s Canada Water Station is very peaceful during rush hour.

A handful of people cross London Bridge before dawn at about 7.30am this morning as Britons shun going into the office

A few people have crossed London Bridge this morning at around 7.30 a.m., as Britons avoid going into work.

An empty Jubilee line platform at London Waterloo station during rush hour this morning

A London Waterloo station Jubilee Line platform was empty during rush hour.

On Tuesday, the largest reductions were seen at City of London stations. There were almost 331,600 entry and exits yesterday there, compared with 504,800 last week.

There were 541,800 Underground station entries and exits Tuesday, compared with 621,600 last week.

TfL recorded a 18% reduction in Tube travels between 10 and 11 am on Monday. Meanwhile, bus use dropped 6 percent.

However, for Monday only, there was a 12% drop in Tubes usage and 2% on bus use. It is likely that leisure travel has not been as popular as commuting.

Also, yesterday it emerged that British train travels have dropped to July levels. The industry’s revenue has fallen 23% from week-to-week, this Monday. It is currently at 43% below pre-pandemic levels.

This was down from 55 per cent of pre-pandemic levels the previous Monday – and it means this Monday’s figure is the lowest level on a Monday since the end of July, when the country first reopened after the third lockdown. 

People sit on a London Underground train this morning after new Covid-19 infections hit record levels yesterday

This morning, thousands of people were on board a London Underground train after Covid-19 infected reached record highs yesterday.

People wear face masks as they walk across Westminster Bridge in London this morning with the roads very quiet

This morning people walk with face masks across Westminster Bridge in London. It’s very peaceful on the roads.

A man wears a face mask as he walks past an advert in support of the vaccination campaign at Westminster station today

As he passes an advertisement in support of today’s vaccination campaign at Westminster Station, a man wearing a mask on his face walks by the advert.

An empty bar in London's Covent Garden called Mr Fogg's Tavern stores chairs inside while it is closed this morning

A bar called Mr Fogg’s Tavern in London’s Covent Garden stores its chairs while it’s closed.

A woman wears a face mask as she walks past Covid posters at Westminster station on the London Underground today

Today’s London Underground photo: A woman walks by Covid posters as she wears a face-mask.

Two people sit apart and eat inside a McDonald's next to Charring Cross on the Strand in Central London this morning

In this morning’s Central London breakfast, two people sit together and order from a McDonald’s near Charring Cross.

People walk past a sign in Covent Garden at the London Transport Museum reading 'Next stop, Christmas' this morning

This morning, people walk past the sign that says “Next stop: Christmas” at London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.

A quiet Christmas market in Covent Garden in London today as a rapid rise in Covid cases has led to a surge in cancellations

There is a quiet Christmas market at Covent Garden today, London. However, a sudden rise in Covid cases has caused a spike in cancellations

According to the Rail Delivery Group, daily rail travels for the week ending December 9 reached an average level of 55% of pre-Covid levels. This is down from 63% the week prior (to December 2) or 72% the week before (to November 25).

Omicron was first reported in the UK on November 21 – and, since then, weekly train ticket sales have dropped from 68 per cent of pre-pandemic levels to just 59 per cent for the week ending December 11.

Johnson encouraged people living in England to return home as soon as possible, during a press conference on Wednesday. It brought England into line with the rest. 

This comes just as Professor Whitty calls for limits on socializing last night, despite Mr Johnson insisting that festive plans shouldn’t be cancelled due to Omicron.

As a result of divisions between No 10 and scientists, the chief medical officers gave a downbeat assessment on the Covid variant. They warned about a large increase in cases.

Omicron may be a milder strain. Omicron has seen an increase in hospitalizations. Omicron warned that the NHS might face severe staff shortages if nurses and doctors fall ill. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing at Downing Street in London yesterday

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended a briefing on media at Downing Street in London.

Professor Whitty gave a strong message about Christmas socialising. He suggested that people should prioritize their family and avoid meeting new friends to be able to spend time with them. He stated, “Don’t mix with people that you don’t have to.”

However, the Prime Minister spoke at a tension-filled press conference in Downing Street and struck an even more positive tone. He praised record boost jab figures for a “great national fightback” against Omicron.

He stated that the third dose rates are twice those of the EU and added: “Let’s go on.” Let’s continue to give Omicron both barrels. We must slow down its spread, and allow the vaccines to work for longer periods of time.

He urged care when seeing loved ones and friends – including taking a test before meeting anyone vulnerable – but insisted there was no need to limit Christmas activities.

He said, “We’re not closing the doors or cancelling events.” We aren’t cancelling anyone’s party or their ability mix. We are urging you to think twice before you decide what type of event it should be.

Ask yourself if you are likely to be around vulnerable people. Take a test and make sure you have ventilation. Also, don’t forget to wear a mask when traveling.

Downing Street maintained that Johnson would not hesitate in imposing further restrictions if needed, despite the revolt by 100 Tory MPs on Tuesday night over Plan B measures such Covid passports.

No 10, said that MPs who leave for Christmas tonight will be called back to make new laws if necessary. Downing Street believes the nation can make it through Christmas without any further restrictions.

But Dr Jenny Harries, head of the UK Health Security Agency, told MPs that Omicron was ‘probably the most significant threat’ since the start of the pandemic – and warned that case numbers were likely to hit ‘staggering’ levels.

Graham Medley (one of the Government’s top modeling experts) said that the NHS could be overwhelmed in the next month.

Dr Nikki Kanani is the director of primary healthcare for NHS. She advised that football fans avoid visiting stadiums this weekend except to get a ‘jab’ at a temporary site.