What impact is new variant having on Christmas party bookings
- Credit: Cara Green/Danielle Booden/DENISE BRADLE
As new fears over the impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus grow, what effect is this having on Christmas arranged for the month?
For many workers, the annual festive gathering is a chance for colleagues to come together and raise a glass to a year of hard work.
However, with positive tests bringing ten days of isolation, are people cancelling their parties, or moving them, to make sure they can celebrate the season with loved ones?
Pubs in Fakenham are feeling positive ahead of the Christmas party season, despite the uncertainty heading into the latter half of December.
At the Sculthorpe Aviator, co-owner, Cara Green said: “We have had only one Christmas party that has been cancelled due to being nervous, but they have re-booked for late January which is a plus.
“We have a good few Xmas parties booked in.
“There is a potential of Christmas parties cancelling, it's nerve-wracking again, I just hope we still manage to have Christmas and a well deserved New Year's Eve."
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It's not the same at The Crown, where owner, Alie Hannam, believes people just want to get on with their lives.
“We have not had anyone either cancel or move theirs forward, nothing at all,” she said.
“I think everyone on our end is just getting on with their lives now. Most of my customers have had their double jabs and 90pc of them are now on to the booster, I think people are just living their lives now.
“We are a busy venue anyway. We have had lots of Christmas work parties already.”
For the Ostrich Inn, this is their first Christmas since they reopened earlier this year.
Heather Pizer-Inggs, the general manager, said there have been no cancellations, but people are being careful to avoid any issues: “Everybody is wearing masks, both visitors and those staying, people are definitely being more careful.
“We do have a lot of functions booked but are not 100pc full. We are still a new venue so not sure if that is the state of the world or because we are still new.
“I’m feeling positive, we hope to provide a safe environment for people to enjoy a meal or to stay over.
“It could be our first Christmas, so we are hoping for the best.”