Christmas deliveries could be cancelled and shops may close early due to Omicron supply chain chaos

CHRISTMAS deliveries could be CANCELLED and shops could close early as Omicron continues to wreck havoc for retailers.

Shops have run up against supply chain chaos and delivery issues due to Covid, leaving Brits worried about whether presents will arrive on time.

Royal Mail warned earlier this week that cards and presents could be delayed as rising numbers of staff self-isolate and call in sick.

It said that 21 delivery offices are facing issues due to staffing issues, including Warrington, Willesden and Chelmsford.

While retailers said last month that they would pause next day deliveries in the run up to Christmas as supply chain issues caused by a HGV driver shortage continue.

Industry leaders warned that online shoppers should not leave their Christmas present hauls until the last minute due to the problems.

But Brits could find presents might not arrive in time for the big day anyway.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) said disruption across the board would only continue if Covid cases continue to go up.

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It told The Telegraph: "There’s a real sense that Covid is taking more of a hold and this could lead to more absences and supply could be disrupted.

“It’s essential that workers know that if they feel unwell they should take time off.”

While campaign group Save The High Street's founding partner Alex Schlagman said shops could close their doors earlier than usual during the festive season.

"Some are now planning to close early before Christmas," he told The Telegraph.

"This new variant is already having an impact and we are now in the most important festive trading period in the history of the high street.” 

It comes as Brits are braced for the prospect of "lockdown by stealth" this Christmas.

Families have been advised to only see friends and family where absolutely necessary, leading MPs to accuse the PM and scientists of putting households in lockdown in all but name.

It's not the only Christmas chaos Brits could be facing this year.

Families have been warned of potential toy shortages this Christmas as gaps in shelves have been spotted across the country.

Shoppers have been warned that big brands like  Elf on the Shelf, Paw Patrol and Barbie figures are among those likely to be missing from shops.

This is because a huge shortfall of 100,000 drivers, coupled with Covid chaos, means not enough deliveries are being made to meet demand.

It could also turn out to be the priciest Christmas yet for families struggling to get by due to a cost of living crisis.

Families will be paying an average £27.49 for their Christmas feast this year as the price of turkey goes up by 3.4%.

It's hitting cash-strapped families the most, who have already seen their Universal Credit payments go down £20 a week after the benefit uplift was slashed.

It's meant some families can't afford to pay for Christmas dinner or presents this year.

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