British people have canceled Christmas parties and restaurant reservations for the last week of December in order to preserve celebrations with their family.
According to estimates from the UK, trade to restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars is down by a third in December.
The industry is estimated to have lost some $5 billion in bookings for the month, as the sector attempts to recover from 18 months of disruption.
The Omicron variant is driving a surge of coronaviruses in the UK. The daily reported infections reached 90, 418 on Saturday.
People have been told to work from home if possible. Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, warned on Thursday that people should prioritize social events and relationships over other things.
The government restricted Christmas socializing in areas with high infections. In tier four areas, people were only allowed to see members of their own household on Christmas Day, meaning that many people wouldn't be able to have a family Christmas.
Pressure is growing on the prime minister to increase restrictions in the run-up to Christmas. Government scientists warned on Friday that infections could hit between 600,000 to 2 million per day, with daily deaths peaking at 600 to 6,000 without more stringent measures.
According to the Times of London, the government is considering banning indoor meetings for two weeks, limiting attendees at weddings and funerals, and returning to outdoor service only at restaurants and bars.
Sajid Javid repeatedly refused to rule out further restrictions during interviews on Sunday. He told Andrew Marr that they will look at the data, take into account other factors, and decide whether further action is needed or not.
It may be too late if you wait until data is perfect. There are no guarantees in this case. We have to keep an eye on everything.
Business groups want the government to provide financial support as Brits reduce eating and drinking out.
Business rates relief, the furlough scheme, deferred VAT and other measures were offered by the government earlier in the Pandemic. The UK reopened over the summer and that support ended.
RainNewton-Smith said in a statement that many businesses were reeling from the Omicron virus for a second Christmas in a row.
The government needs to act quickly to prevent further restrictions.
He said that work-from- home orders had hurt businesses who don't have formal support.