I'm a shopkeeper and I'm trembling at the thought of another lockdown – we can't afford more Covid restrictions

A SHOPKEEPER today told how he was "trembling" at the thought of another Covid lockdown as he insisted businesses won't survive the hit.

Mike Crowley spoke on behalf of retailers this morning as ministers hinted fresh curbs could come before Christmas.

Dominic Raab said earlier there were no "hard and fast guarantees" more restrictions won't be imposed this week to tackle the Omicron tsunami.

The bitter warning left retail and hospitality sectors in the lurch once again with bosses fearing huge blows to their businesses for the second year in a row.

Retailer Mike Crawley told LBC Radio: “I’m a retailer and I’m trembling at the moment at the prospect of any potential lockdown this side of Christmas. 

“We’ve invested heavily in all the grants the Government gave us after the first lockdown and we need this Christmas.

"We can’t just set it aside and deal with it next year."

Mr Crawley added businesses like his are not just "financially bombarded" but "psycologically bombarded" too.

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And he insisted they cannot afford further restrictions.

He said: "As retailers and businesses that rely on the general public to support our businesses, we cannot afford any form of lockdown."

The Sun is urging readers to sign up to the Jabs Army campaign to make the rollout as smooth and fast as possible.

A booster shot is the best protection against Omicron, with early data suggesting it pushes efficacy back up to 75 per cent.

Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Executive said: “Once again, we urge everyone who is able to get a booster jab to come forward and do so.

"It is the best defence we have against this highly transmissible new variant."

As it stands, Brits must wear masks in shops and on public transport after Plan B measures came into force earlier this month.

But Boris Johnson is considering slapping fresh curbs on socialising indoors — including pubs — despite hitting one million jabs a day.

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The Prime Minister will continue to thrash out the possibilities in crunch talks today and will hold an emergency Cabinet meeting this afternoon.

His deputy said this morning he hoped family festivities would be better than last year's lockdown – but said ministers would pull the trigger "earlier rather than later" if forced.

Mr Raab said: "We will have a much better Christmas than last year because of the vaccination level, both the overall vaccination level but particularly the impact of the booster campaign, and we saw on Saturday, just in one day, 900,000 people get their booster."

But he refused to calm the fears of millions that their Christmases will once again be wrecked by harsh measures.

Pressed on whether further restrictions could come into force before December 25, he said: "Well, I just can't make hard and fast guarantees."

Leaked SAGE minutes warned that "more stringent measures would need to be implemented very soon".

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan are also calling for immediate action.

The PM is understood to be mulling options to tighten the rules over the festive period.

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