Fearing Omicron Variant, Holiday Revelers Curb Celebrations

People walk past a Christmas tree in King's Cross train station, in London, the Eurostar hub to travel to European countries including France, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. After the U.K. recorded its highest number of confirmed new COVID-19 infections since the pandemic began, France announced Thursday that it would tighten entry rules for those coming from Britain. Hours later, the country set another record, with a further 88,376 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported Thursday, almost 10,000 more than the day before. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(AP) — Christmas revelers across Europe are lying low, and U.S. officials are intensifying calls for unvaccinated Americans to get inoculated in the face of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Omicron now threatens to wipe out a second holiday season that many people hoped would bail out pandemic-battered industries. Scotland and Wales on Friday pledged millions of pounds for businesses hurt in Britain’s latest infection surge.

Denmark decided to close theaters, concert halls and museums in response to a rise in virus cases. In Spain, friends and classmates canceled traditional year-end dinners.

In the United States, President Joe Biden’s administration resisted tightening any restrictions, but also sketched out dire risks for the unvaccinated.


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