April 20, 2024

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Omigron: Wind of “panic” in the UK before the holidays

“It’s scary once again”: Amid long queues in front of last-minute cancellation and vaccination centers, the British disrupted their plans in hopes of spending the Christmas holidays without Omigron.

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Christmas celebrations have been reduced to a minimum since the appearance of the alpha variant of the corona virus last year. The British hope to make up for it this year, but the spectacular resurgence of COVID-19 cases due to the Omigron variant has turned everything upside down.

The government imposes very limited measures (telephone work, indoor masks and health passes for public meetings), some play it safe and limit their travels to avoid contaminating a Christmas week.

While they are not strictly prohibited, many “Christmas parties” of companies and organizations in the UK have been canceled, much to the chagrin of pubs.

Jesse Sandy, 28, who works at the Hospital Tavern in London, said: “This week has been a busy week for us, but it’s not busy. (…) We had one or two parties and Christmas parties over the weekend but they were all canceled due to the Omigron variation.

If Prime Minister Boris Johnson had advised people to “think carefully before you go” to a restaurant or pub, Chris Witty, the UK’s chief medical officer, would have gone further. He called on Britain to limit contact to reduce the chances of catching or spreading the virus.

Warning in Windsor

Queen Elizabeth II, 95, for the first time since the death of her husband Philip in April, had precautionarily abandoned her traditional family reunion, which was to gather about fifty people at Windsor Castle next Tuesday.

In the West End theaters of the London metropolis, many productions had to cancel certain dates because their crew had tested positive for Covid-19. Usually a big blow during this auspicious time.

According to industry experts, for work shows, almost a quarter of the reserved seats will be vacant.

Holiday plans are also falling: British will be barred from entering France from Saturday. The French had to produce a negative test in less than 24 hours and isolate themselves when they arrived while waiting for a second negative test.

France justified this decision by a “wave of cases” linked to the Omigran variant in the UK, which reported 88,376 positive cases in 24 hours on Thursday, unheard of since the outbreak in 2020.

“It’s a panic, a race again,” 47-year-old Italian Elena Orsini told AFP. To escape the new restrictions, it will finally depart on Friday evening via Eurotnell in France rather than Saturday.

The last-minute change meant extra cost, but after their holidays in France were canceled last Christmas, due to restrictions, “we do not want to miss it again”.

In the United Kingdom, pollution associated with Omicron now doubles in two days in some regions. The number of hospitalizations, especially in London, is on the rise again.

“I’m especially careful this year because at the same time last year I caught a cowboy so I could not do anything for my birthday,” Charlie Hinton explains, coming in December, “not for Christmas.” , 23 years old employee.

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This year, he plans to celebrate his birthday, but before the party he will tell his friends to do antigen testing and see them outside to reduce the risks.

This year, he plans to celebrate his birthday, but before the party he will tell his friends to do antigen testing and see them outside to reduce the risks.

To protect Omicron, the government has launched a vaccine booster campaign, hoping all adults will receive a third dose by the end of December. The government said on Thursday that the campaign was greatly accelerated by the delivery of more than 745,000 booster doses in a single day.

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