UK rail operator cancels London route due to COVID disruption

LONDON (Reuters) – A British rail operator has been forced to suspend all direct services to the busy London Victoria train station until Jan. 10 after staff fell ill with COVID-19 and others had to isolate.

Southern Rail said on Twitter that due to coronavirus isolation and sickness, there would be no direct services to or from London Victoria, disrupting commuter routes from south London and lines that run to the south of the country.

Britain is undergoing another heavy wave of the coronavirus pandemic driven by the Omicron variant, with a record 183,037 daily cases reported on Wednesday. Office workers have been asked to work from home where they can to reduce transmission.

While the government has said that the Omicron variant appears to be milder than others, it is highly transmissible and businesses across the country have been hit by staff shortages.

In the United States airlines were forced to cancel thousands of flights over Christmas as COVID-19 reduced the number of crews that were available.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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