Omicron: Hospitality Sector Hit By Christmas Cancellations
With the World Health Organisation (WHO) warning that the Omicron coronavirus variant poses a “very high” global risk, hospitality bosses across the UK are saying they are already receiving cancellations for Christmas party bookings.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, founder of Punch Taverns Hugh Osmond said, “We are seeing that some of the people in large organisations who organise bigger events are taking the cautious view because I guess they feel some overriding responsibility. We are not seeing that in young people.”
“Social interaction is, after food and water, the most important thing for a human being’s mental health.”
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was no need for people to cancel upcoming parties and gatherings. However, Johnson’s statement came just hours after the UK’s most senior health officials urged people to limit their social interactions.
Christmas is a vital period for hospitality venues, with many relying on generating enough profit throughout the festive season to support them through the traditionally quieter months. The loss of two festive seasons in a row would have a detrimental impact on many businesses in the UK.