Covid news live: Germany warned over ICU capacity; Nigeria identifies Omicron in sample from October

By Martin Belam (now) and Samantha Lock (earlier)

04:15

Bosses of pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK are warning they are already receiving cancellations of bookings for Christmas parties amid fears about the Omicron variant and following mixed guidance over socialising during the festive season.

“We are seeing that some of the people in large organisations who organise bigger events are taking the cautious view because I guess they feel some overriding responsibility. We are not seeing that in young people,” said Hugh Osmond, the founder of Punch Taverns.

“Social interaction is, after food and water, the most important thing for a human being’s mental health,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Christmas trading is vital for hospitality venues, many of whom rely on making enough money in the festive period to get them through the leaner months at the start of the new year. The loss of a second Christmas season in a row would be extremely damaging for many businesses.

Read more of Joanna Partridge’s report here: UK hospitality firms hit by Christmas party cancellations over Omicron fears

04:06

Germany warned over intensive care capacity as Covid deaths at highest level since February

03:52

Nigeria identifies Omicron variant in sample collected in October

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03:22

Sajid Javid: 'We do absolutely need more volunteers' to ramp up UK booster jabs

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03:15

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03:12

Fiji reopens borders to international travel for first time since March 2020

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02:48

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