Majority of EADT readers believe new Covid restrictions will be needed

Bury Christmas light celebration PICTURE; CHARLOTTE BOND

A majority of East Anglian Daily Times readers are hosting smaller Christmas celebrations this year - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Nearly 60% of readers of the East Anglian Daily Times believe new restrictions should be brought in early in the New Year to deal with the spread of the Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, about two-thirds of readers are planning smaller Christmas gatherings this year due to concerns over coronavirus.

More than 200 people took part in a poll held by this newspaper to gauge feeling among readers about the preparations for Christmas.

It comes after the emergence of the Omicron variant and the government's move to Plan B — including work from home guidance and vaccine passports at large venues.

The survey found 64.6% of participants were scaling back the size of their festive celebrations and inviting fewer guests than planned.

Among the reasons given for this were family members testing positive for Covid, with one respondent saying they "do not want to put anyone at risk".

A total of 62.2% of readers said they would be asking guests to take a Covid test before arriving at gatherings, with many doing so because of high infection rates in Suffolk.

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One reader said: "That is what we have been doing for a long time to keep others, not just our family, safe. It's not a hard thing to do or plan for."

Almost three-quarters — 73.2% — were working from home to avoid possible Covid infection, while 69.9% said their work Christmas party had been cancelled.

Readers were evenly split when quizzed on whether more restrictions should have been reintroduced before Christmas, with 50.7% backing new rules.

However, 57.9% believed restrictions should be reintroduced in the new year as infection rates have been rising nationally.

One reader said: "It is better to provide a roadmap of guidance so that people can plan and be supported where necessary and provide a way of reducing Covid transmission."

However, another said: "I think we need to learn to live with it. I’ve been triple jabbed. There are medications now to help treat it."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to a vaccination centre in Ramsgate, Kent. Picture date:

Boris Johnson has not yet ruled out additional Covid measures - Credit: PA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Cabinet ministers at an emergency two-hour meeting on Monday.

He said the government needs to be clearer about the rate of hospital admissions associated with Omicron, and the effectiveness of vaccines against it, before imposing additional measures in England.

However, Mr Johnson said the government will "reserve the possibility" of implementing new restrictions if required.