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PUB bosses have warned Boris Johnson bringing back Covid restrictions this winter would drive many businesses "to the wall".

They're worried 'Plan B' measures including mask wearing, working from home, and vaccine passports would hit bookings.

2Pub chiefs fear the return of restrictions this winterCredit: AFP 2Boris Johnson is facing pressure to trigger his Covid 'Plan B'Credit: AFP

Many watering holes and restaurants are still struggling to get back on their feet after the first two lockdowns.

But there are now fears a new set of restrictions will be needed to fight off growing infection rates.

New cases topped 50,000 yesterday for the first time since July 17.

That has prompted calls from NHS chiefs and scientists for the PM to trigger Plan B or go even further and reimpose lockdown.

But UK Hospitality chief Kate Nicholls warned the Christmas season is "desperately important" for firms' survival.

She said: "A lot of businesses are still fragile. Any knock at this point in time could have an impact on viability. People will just go to the wall."

Phil Urban, boss of pub and restaurant chain Mitchells & Butler, told The Guardian: "People are very nervous and if you move to Plan B it puts Christmas at risk.

"The industry is not out of the woods, and just as we get our momentum back we'd have the rug pulled out from under us."

Tory revolt

The PM is also under increasing pressure from senior backbench MPs to avoid the pressure to bring back restrictions.

Mark Harper, chair of the Covid Research Group, warned more curbs on daily life would "cripple parts of the economy".

Veteran Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne said there's no need for Plan B and that he was "horrified" at the suggestion of another lockdown.

He told TalkRadio: "If we start imposing restrictions again we merely push those problems further on.

"There's a significant lobby out there who believe that the purpose of the nation is to accommodate the needs of the NHS."

Fellow backbencher Steve Baker added: "We cannot allow the liberties of the people of this country to be a tool of NHS capacity management.

"We really have to ask fundamental questions about how we're choosing to live. Let's not be shutting down business.

"There's a wide range of collateral damage that comes from lockdowns and restrictions and we can't afford to keep propping up businesses."

Today the care minister Gillian Keegan insisted that No 10 is fully focussed on ramping up the booster jabs rollout.

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She said: "We laid out Plan A and Plan B and we have just started, five weeks ago, Plan A.

"The most important thing is to get those boosters rolled out. Of course we have Plan B there - it is there for a reason.

"But we know the vaccine is the best thing and we're really focusing on making sure that that is rolled out."

News Source: the-sun.com

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Omicron variant poses ‘very high’ global risk, ‘unprecedented number of spike mutations’: WHO

The COVID-19 omicron variant has an "unprecedented number of spike mutations" and poses a "very high" global risk, the World Health Organization said Monday.

Because of fears that the new variant has the potential to be more resistant to the protection offered by vaccines, there are growing concerns around the world that the pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions will persist for far longer than hoped.

"The overall global risk related to the new variant of concern omicron is assessed as very high," the WHO said, according to Reuters. The health body said countries should make sure that there are "mitigation plans in place" to deal with an increase in new cases. Scientists are working to determine how effective vaccines are in preventing infections with the new variant.

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The U.K. on Saturday tightened its rules on mask-wearing and on testing of international arrivals after finding two cases. New cases were confirmed Saturday in Germany and Italy, with Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong also reporting that the variant has been found in travelers.

A group of women show their COVID passports as they enter La Belle Angele nightclub on November 25, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images) (Getty)

On Monday, Scotland reported six cases of the variant and have started contact tracing in order to "establish the origin of the virus and any further individuals they may have come into contact with in recent weeks," Humza Yousaf, the Scottish health secretary said, according to Reuters. Portuga also recorded 13 cases of the new variant.

A passenger wearing personal protective equipment queues to check-in for a flight at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on November 29, 2021, as countries across the globe shut borders and renewed travel curbs in response to the spread of a new, heavily mutated Covid-19 coronavirus variation. (Photo by Mohd RASFAN / AFP)  (Getty)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.'s top infectious diseases expert, said Sunday that he would not be surprised if the omicron variant was already in the United States, too.

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"We have not detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility ... it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over," Fauci said on NBC television.

The variant has a high number of spike mutations that could affect transmissibility and immune response, Ravindra Gupta, a professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge, said.

The WHO's warning comes a day after Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a board member of the South African Medical Association who first alerted authorities to the presence of the omicron variant, that it presents "unusual but mild" symptoms. 

"Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before," Coetzee told The Telegraph. 

Fox News' Peter Aiken and the Associated Press contributed to this report

Edmund DeMarche is a senior news editor for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.

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