Christmas parties - Will you attend yours this year?

christmas parties

Businesses across Waveney are expecting a better Christmas than last year but no return to normality yet. - Credit: PA

The new Coronavirus variant Omicron is a huge talking point at the moment, particularly with businesses preparing to host Christmas parties.

New rules mean that people must wear face coverings in shops and on public transport.

Whilst this excludes hospitality venues which tend to host large Christmas parties, there is still a sense of caution in the air.

Adam Greenfield is business owner of the Hotel Victoria by Lowestoft's south beach.

The Hotel Victoria, Lowestoft.

The Hotel Victoria, Lowestoft. - Credit: Archant

He said: "At the moment, we are doing okay and we are hosting numbers of 140 each Friday and Saturday.

"We haven't returned yet to the levels seen in 2019, largely because elderly people are cautious about having Christmas parties.

"In 2019, we would host 80 to 90 people from care homes, this year that has dropped to 50 and 60 people.

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"Until people are triple jabbed I think there will always be caution.

"We have hand sanitizing stations, posters and are telling people it is their own responsibility if they decide to have a Christmas party."

ivy house country hotel

Ivy House Country Hotel. - Credit: Ivy House Country Hotel

Owner of the Ivy House Country Hotel in Oulton Broad, Dr Adrian Parton, said that they have had people ring up cancelling Christmas party plans over fears of catching coronavirus before Christmas Day.

Dr Parton, who is a former molecular virologist, said: "There is obvious concern amongst people at the moment, with many cancelling their Christmas party plans with us this year.

"These aren't just old people who are concerned but people from a range of different ages too.

"I think this virus is ever changing so we have to wait and see what the government says.

"Early indications from South Africa show that this may be a mild virus, meaning it is more infectious but produces less fatalities.

"The real concern among people is that they do not want to catch Covid just before Christmas or even during the festive period.

"Last year was hard enough for people spending time away from their families and I think people are willing to miss one Christmas party to spend that valuable time with family."