Trains across Britain are currently being cancelled and timetables slimmed down as the omicron coronavirus variant sparks a surge in workers absences, wreaking havoc for hundreds of thousands of commuters.

Southern, Fantastic Northern and Thameslink are to increase slimmed-down festive timetables until finally January 10 because of a scarcity of staff.

There will be no immediate Southern products and services to and from London Victoria, whilst the Gatwick Categorical coach to the airport will also be out of action.

In its place, trains sure for the station – together with individuals from Horsham, Hastings, Eastbourne, Littlehampton, Portsmouth and Southampton – will be despatched to London Bridge.

It arrived as business enterprise groups warned that a million personnel could soon be absent in a new “pingdemic”, while pub businesses and dining places reported they were being presently staying forced to shut websites since of isolating workforce.

In the rail field, virtually just one in ten personnel are absent, in accordance to a trade physique. Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the mother or father corporation of Southern, Wonderful Northern and Thameslink, mentioned the absence of manpower had still left it with no selection but to act.

GTR said: “The adjustments are staying designed in reaction to the ongoing impression of Covid-19, which has led to significantly improved staff members illness in the latest weeks, as viewed right across the rail field. 

“A decreased timetable will assist make certain a a lot more trusted services and a lot less past-moment cancellations. When less persons are travelling on the railways total and men and women continue to do the job from household, it is vital for those people who do require to journey in the new yr to check their journeys in progress and allow additional time.”

Angie Doll, the firm’s interim manager, added: “We’re truly sorry if this does influence your journey.”

GTR is just the hottest travel business to alert of disruption due to coronavirus around the festive period of time.

British Airways was among the airlines hit by personnel shortages before Christmas, even though rail companies TransPennine Express, Avanti West Coast, LNER, Northern Rail, Larger Anglia and Scotrail have also scaled back again their timetables.

The most recent alterations announced by GTR are probably to wreak more havoc on the travel programs of persons travelling for New 12 months celebrations, as perfectly as people today returning dwelling immediately after prolonged Xmas breaks. 

The Rail Shipping and delivery Group, which speaks for the market, reported that 8.9laptop of staff at train providers ended up absent in the week to Wednesday. A spokesman extra: “Our workers are operating in hard instances and like absolutely everyone else, they are susceptible to the virus.”

A comprehensive checklist of rail disruptions is accessible listed here for Southern and Terrific Northern, and by checking Nationwide Rail Enquiries.