The new variant which is sweeping across the UK has caused panic and Christmas celebrations are already being cancelled as a result.
Many companies are choosing a more low profile celebration this year and most firms are cancelling their festive drinks and dining.
Chief executive for UK Hospitality, Kate Nicholls, warned of the dangers which the new variant poses and said the “chilling talk of Plan B is already being felt” across the hospitality sector.
Nicholls said, “We support the Government’s proportionate response to the new variant, which strikes the right balance between swift action to protect health while avoiding the significant economic, social and mental health harms associated with broader restrictions.
“It is important to remember that hospitality operators have invested significantly to ensure the safety of staff and customers, focusing on better ventilation, hygiene and sanitation, measures which SAGE recommend are the most effective measures of infection control.
“This means hospitality venues will be far safer places to socialise with family and friends this Christmas than at home.
“However despite this, the chilling talk of Plan B is already being felt across hospitality as bookings are cancelled and plans changed.
“There is no doubt that this will have a damaging effect on businesses, just as they head into their key trading period.
“This all comes at a critical time for the sector, as costs are rising across the board, supply chain issues continue, chronic labour shortages show no sign of easing and next year will see a return of 20% VAT rate.”
Law firm Osborne Clarke are choosing a low-profile to high-profile events this year amid the soaring cases.
The firm’s managing partner Ray Berg told MailOnline, “We asked our people and their preference is for local team-level celebrations, so we’re opting for low key festivities rather than big shindigs this year.
“Given the emergence of a new variant I think we made the right call, no one wants to have a second lockdown Christmas.”
A spokesperson for pub chain Mitchells & Butlers said, “We are excited to be heading into the busy festive period and celebrating Christmas with our guests and colleagues.
“We have no plans to make any changes to our Christmas party plans but we will have Covid protocols in place and continue to monitor Government guidance to ensure we maintain a safe environment for everyone.”