Christmas parties are being cancelled all over the shop. Pubs and restaurants are reporting that guests are pulling out of bookings for Christmas lunches. Schools are cancelling nativity plays while Santa is facing the axe visiting children in care homes.

In the City,  Brewin Dolphin, one of the UK’s biggest wealth managers, has told employees to stay away from 10 December 10 until 7 January.  Brewin’s bosses have even advised staff not to feel bad about turning down invitations.

Law firms and banks are deciding whether to go-ahead or cancel their parties, with one legal partner telling me how tough the decision-making is. They don’t want to give in to the fear-mongering over the new Omicron variant but nor do they want to be responsible for staff being ill before the holidays.