Much remains unknown about Omicron, but officials warn that it appears to be more transmissible than the Delta variant, which has already put pressure on hospitals around the world.

US officials ramped up calls on Friday to vaccinate Americans who are not immunized against the new omicron variant that has contributed to a record number of infections in New York and threatened to wipe out a second holiday season in Europe, even though the calendar is about to change, Friday had a clear feeling for 2020: NFL games have been postponed due to COVID-19 injuries. This season’s Rockettes Christmas show has been cancelled. European governments imposed a series of restrictions that halted travel and saw travelers lying at a low altitude.

Much remains unknown about Omicron, but officials warn that it appears to be more transmissible than the Delta variant, which has already put pressure on hospitals around the world. The uncertainty alone has been enough for many people to change their plans. In the United States, President Joe Biden’s administration has resisted tightening any restrictions, but it has also painted dire scenarios for the unvaccinated in a plea for reluctant Americans to get the shot.

“For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter full of severe illness and death, for yourselves, for your families, and for the hospitals you may soon be overwhelmed,” Jeff Zentes, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said Friday, echoing the president’s earlier comments. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the new replacement is already in “full force” in New York City, with new cases setting a one-day record of more than 8,300 on Thursday. The city’s data shows that new hospitalizations and deaths are – so far – well below their spring 2020 peak and even where they were at this time last year.

The Corona virus has also caused a boycott of sports in the United States again. The NFL announced Friday that three games from the weekend will be postponed to next week due to the outbreak. The association has not determined whether the cases came from the omicron variant or not, as Radio City Rockettes canceled four shows scheduled for Friday due to cases of COVID-19 hacking into production, and plans for upcoming shows are still being evaluated. The generally popular holiday program has four shows a day in December at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. Officials need to react faster, said Stanley Weiss, a professor of epidemiology at Rutgers University, noting their willingness to completely redefine vaccination to include booster injections, for example.

“Everyone wants us to get through this pandemic, but to get through it, we cannot ignore the realities of what is happening and what is needed,” Weiss said. Denmark has decided to close theaters, concert halls, amusement parks and museums in response to the virus cases. In Spain, friends and classmates have canceled the traditional year-end dinner.

Scotland and Wales on Friday pledged millions of pounds to businesses hit in the latest surge in infections in Britain, a move that increased pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to do the same in England. , decried a “closing in disguise” in which government officials recommend people limit social contact as much as possible without formally imposing strict rules for previous lockdowns.

Britain has reported record numbers of infection three days in a row this week, the last of which was on Friday with more than 93,000 cases.
Businesses ranging from vacation providers to bars and theaters have seen a wave of cancellations as customers decide to skip the fun for now rather than risk getting infected and missing out on family celebrations later.

Even Britain’s Christmas Bantu – the beloved and boisterous holiday parade – is under threat. The Belgrade Theater in Coventry, western England, was forced to recoup 180,000 pounds ($240,000) in ticket sales after customers decided not to attend shows. It was also forced to cancel 12 screenings of “Beauty and the Beast” because half the cast had tested positive, and executive director Joanna Reed told the BBC: “There has been a real dip in confidence.”

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said on Friday that financial aid for businesses should come from the central government because it has the power to borrow to fund the amount of aid needed. During a press conference in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. “There is no time to waste.” The already beleaguered travel and tourism industry is taking a huge hit.

Eurostar, which operates trains across the English Channel, ran out of tickets to France on Friday before new rules restricting travel to and from Britain took effect. Long queues swarmed around the parking lot at the Eurotunnel that runs the tunnel used by drivers to cross the water.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told The Guardian that Ryanair was originally expected to carry around 11 million passengers in December, but that number has fallen to 10 million. Europe’s largest airline will also reduce about 10% of its capacity in January, and Amanda Willock, 29, a graduate student at the University of Michigan, canceled a trip to France with her partner as cases rose there. Although the increase in increase was not necessarily due to omicron, the uncertainty about the new variant and the new requirement that all American travelers would have to test negative before returning to the United States, made her concerned that the trip would be more stressful than enjoyable. Alternatively, she travels to the Anchorage region of Alaska to see friends.

A stress-filled vacation might not be a great vacation,” Willock, who is from Arvada, Colorado, said. The Advantage Travel Group, which represents about 350 UK travel agents, said business was down 40% in mid-December from a month ago. Those numbers, including flights, cruise bookings and vacations, add to the current slump in the travel industry, which has already seen business drop by two-thirds since the pandemic began, CEO Julia Le Puy-Sayed said.

“Our members are dealing with customers who are really nervous about travel now,” she said, “They are really worried about bookings for the New Year because they fear there is a risk that the government will issue more quick reactions.” Many in the travel and hospitality industry had hoped they had put the worst behind them, after nearly two years in a pandemic that devastated those industries. They saw this holiday season as an opportunity to recover some of what was lost – even Omicron overshadowed the early days of the crisis.
Richard Stevens estimates he has lost £4,000 ($5,300) worth of bookings in a ski chalet to rent in the French Alps after the announcement of stricter new travel rules for people arriving from Britain.

Stevens said he lost his first reservation when a guest called to say the restrictions would not allow anyone to come to France without a compelling reason. “And the compelling reason does not include going on vacation.” Celebrity chef Michelle Rowe and other restaurants have invested heavily to reconfigure their venues to address safety concerns – and they hoped to reap some of the benefits.

Roe, who owns a destination restaurant in London, said returning to massive uncertainty for the second year in a row at Christmas was “a kick in the stomach”. It does not matter that the authorities did not impose specific restrictions and, at most, only issued recommendations.

“Most of our clients prioritize the welfare of their relatives over going out for a fun night out with their colleagues,” said Rera. In the past week alone, about half of the reserved space has been canceled, sometimes on the same day who the manager said: “People are again afraid of the virus.”

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