Christmas: Rising Omicron cases hits the high street – early closures predicted


For those who haven’t finished off their Christmas shopping, the new Covid variant may have thrown a spanner in the works.

Royal Mail recently announced that due to their employees self-isolating and calling in sick, deliveries of cards and present could be delayed in the lead up to Christmas.

Their Warrington, Willesden and Chelmsford offices are just three of 21 delivery offices that are facing staffing issues during this festive period.

The HGV driver shortage has caused retailers to pause next day deliveries in the run up to Christmas.

Online shoppers were warned that they should not leave shopping until the last minute, frantically trying to have things delivered before Christmas Day.

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However, due to these issues, even those who planned ahead and ordered early may be disappointed.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) said this disruption would only continue if Covid cases continue to be on the rise.

It reported to The Telegraph: “There’s a real sense that Covid is taking more of a hold and this could lead to more absences and supply could be disrupted.”

However, those involved in the distribution of mail should prioritise their health.

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It continued: “It’s essential that workers know that if they feel unwell they should take time off.”

It isn’t just online shopping that may suffer this Christmas, as some physical stores are rumoured to be closing their doors early due to rising cases of Omicron.

Alex Schlagman, founding partner of campaign group Save The High Street’s said shops could close their doors imminently.

He told The Telegraph: “Some are now planning to close early before Christmas.”

The Covid chaos, coupled with a lack of delivery drivers, meant that not enough deliveries were made to meet demand.

To make matters worse, Christmas 2021 could turn out to be the priciest yet, due to the cost of living crisis.

With the price of turkey having risen by 3.4 percent, families are expected to pay approximately an average of £27.49 for their Christmas dinner for four.

Families who struggle financially may be the worst off following the decision that Universal Credit payments would be decreased by £20 per week.



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