Xmas revellers hit the town ahead of new Plan B restrictions as Omicron spreads

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Revellers have taken to the bars for a festive party ahead of Plan B coronavirus restrictions coming into force next week amid fears of the Omicron variant spreading in the UK.

The new rules will see the introduction of controversial vaccine passports as a condition of entry into nightclubs, as well as compulsory mask-wearing for indoor venues.

But partygoers across the country have not let fears over the new variant get in the way of a festive bash, with people donning their most glamorous outfits or opting for a festive costume to go for a night on the town.

People have donned Santa and superhero costumes, whilst others braved the cold weather in their best getup.

The festivities come amidst fears that Christmas parties could be cancelled as a measure to slow the spread of the omicron variant which is currently growing in the UK.

Britain has so far seen 1,265 confirmed cases of the new variant, though the actual number has been estimated as being much higher.

Of the total cases 448 were yesterday, almost double Thursday's numbers, and experts have highlighted the high doubling rate of omicron compared to previous strains, with estimates saying it can double in 2-3 days.

Nonetheless, there has yet to be a hospitalisation of a patient who has tested positive for the new strain.

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The government has championed the booster programme as the most effective means of combatting omicron as studies have indicated that a booster jab greatly increases the effectiveness.

The announcement of the new Plan B measures include the introduction of vaccine passports for entry into nightclubs, as well as extending compulsory mask-wearing to include indoor spaces.

A vaccine passport will be required for entry into any unseated indoor venue with more than 500 people, as well as unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people.

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During the announcement of the Plan B rules, the prime minister urged people to work from home where possible, but also stressed that events such as nativities and office Christmas parties can still go ahead.

Despite fears over the high infection rate of omicron, a spokesperson for the PM said that there are currently no plans to introduce any further restrictions.

They told The Sun: "Obviously we need to keep the characteristics of this variant under review, and we would act if necessary, but there are no plans to go beyond what we set out."

  • Omicron
  • Coronavirus
  • Christmas

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