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Despite Christmas being just five days away, there’s lots of uncertainty about what it will look like this year with Omicron cases surging.

The Prime Minister is believed to have “cleared his diary for a day of emergency meetings” to have urgent talks today with scientists and senior members of his team.

Fears are mounting that new restrictions could be imposed in England this week, on top of the already re-introduced rules.

Read more: Coronavirus

It’s thought that Boris Johnson is looking at multiple options that will shape what festivities will look like this year, reports the Mirror.

These options include tougher restrictions which will only allow pubs and restaurants to serve customers outside and ban indoor mixing with those you don’t live with.

The BBC has reported that leaked minutes of a meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies held on Thursday said scientists have told ministers that tougher measures need to be brought in “very soon”.

The government is also reported to be considering a two-week circuit breaker lockdown after Christmas.

The Prime Minister is also said to be juggling the idea of an 8pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has warned that Covid deaths could rise to 6,000 a day if the Government failed to impose extra measures.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has advised people to limit indoor mixing to three households over the festive period but it is not a legal requirement.

What are the three proposals?

The first proposal is to advise people to restrict indoor socialising – without making it mandatory under law.

Option two is stricter. It would involve mandatory limits on household mixing, the return of social distancing, and an 8pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.

The nuclear option is a return to full lockdown, according to The Telegraph.

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has led to mounting alarm in Government, with 82,866 cases of Covid recorded on Sunday, up more than 50 per cent in the past week.

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Confirmed cases of the new strain have risen by more than 12,000 in the UK – and London’s cases alone topped 10,000.

Scientists have called for tougher measures to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, as SAGE experts warned hospitalisations could rise to between 3,000 and 10,000 a day unless urgent action is taken.

The PM is also facing opposition from Tory MPs and even his own Cabinet over the imposition of new rules.

His authority has taken a battering in the last week after a disastrous by-election defeat, a mass Tory rebellion over imposition of vaccine passports, and the steady drip of damaging claims about rule-breaking parties in Government.

Conservative MPs are expected to receive a briefing from Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance this afternoon.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said today that he cannot make any “hard, fast guarantees” that more restrictions will not be needed ahead of Christmas Day.

He claimed that people were in a “better position to enjoy Christmas with loved ones” than last year – but refused to rule out new curbs.

Asked whether the government would impose further restrictions before Christmas, Mr Raab told Times Radio: “I just can’t make hard and fast guarantees.”

“In assessing the situation we rely very heavily on the real data coming through and it will take a little bit more time to assess this critical issue of the severity of Omicron.”

He later told Sky News: “I do think of course, you have heard it from the Health Secretary over the weekend, I’d echo that, people will need to be careful and cautious.

“I do think that again, subject to the data, and it’s always under review, we’re in a better position to enjoy Christmas with loved ones this year.”

Shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, told Good Morning Britain that the Government has got to “come out of hiding” and “put in place that pathway to getting on top of the virus and the infection”.

She said: “If you look at Wales, for example, they have pre-announced a package of measures that will come in just after Christmas to get a control of this virus.

“The Sage minutes, the Government got those last Thursday. Four days on now, we haven’t heard from the Prime Minister, we haven’t heard from the Chancellor and they have access to much more data and advice than any of us.

“The Labour Party are ready to support the Government in whatever measures are needed to protect public health.”

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