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Omicron scare disrupts Christmas travel plans in Europe

Travel restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus are hammering the already beleaguered travel and tourism industries and adding to the gloom in Europe in the midst of the crucial holiday season.

Travellers are rearranging or cancelling trips because of tightening rules. Eurostar, which operates trains across the English Channel, sold out of tickets to France before new travel restrictions to and from Britain went into effect.

Much remains unknown about the new variant, although increasing evidence indicates it spreads more easily. While researchers race to figure out how severe it is and how well vaccines work against it, the uncertainty itself is also causing some to change their plans.

Britain is currently experiencing one of the most dramatic surges, dealing a blow to pubs and restaurants that have seen mass cancellations of parties in the run-up to Christmas. Treasury Chief Rishi Sunak met with representatives of the hospitality sector to hear their concerns about how they would make it through another season with slashed revenue.

Travel trade association Abta argued it deserved the same attention from the government. It demanded an “urgent meeting” with Sunak and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to discuss the sector’s “current financial situation and its pressing need for financial support.” (Source HT, Pic Sky News)

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