HOPES of a normal Christmas are fading after Scots were told to cancel their parties – while Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak canned theirs.
The Government is still officially urging people to press ahead with bashes and school nativities despite implementing Plan B restrictions.
But the rip of Omicron across the country has sparked fresh fears of tough countermeasures that could blow a hole in the festivities.
Top Scottish scientists are already urging the public to pull the plug on gatherings to stop the spread.
Dr Nick Phin, the director of public health science and medical director at Public Health Scotland said: “I would strongly urge people to defer their Christmas parties to another time.”
He added: “I appreciate that everyone is keen to celebrate this festive season, particularly after the pressures of the last 20 months, but by postponing some plans we can all do our bit to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to implement a further Covid squeeze at a press briefing this lunchtime.
It came as Westminster sowed more uncertainty after the PM and Chancellor both cancelled Christ parties.
No10 also cancelled their Christmas party as it faces growing claims of multiple Downing St bashes last year when rules forbid gatherings.
Announcing Plan B on Wednesday, Mr Johnson explicitly said people shouldn’t be junking their dos so long as they got tested and washed their hands.
Scrapping the Downing St do will only do more to muddy the waters over a set of confusing rules.
Barmy Plan B restrictions tell people not to go to the office – but you can go to the pub with colleagues.
Read our Omicron variant live blog for the latest news
Similarly worshippers can remove their masks to sing hymns – but must put them back on while silently praying.
From today people in England must wear masks in all indoor settings except for hospitality and where you have a “reasonable excuse” like gyms and choir practice.
Business Minister Paul Scully today admitted Britain is facing a “difficult few weeks” with Omicron.
He said: “None of us feel comfortable having to restrict people’s freedoms.
“But we do have a difficult situation to get through over the next few weeks.
“This is a proportionate amount of measures to give us the breathing space to work out what’s happening with the Omicron variant.”