British families 'thankful' on Christmas despite isolating

"We tested him that morning and he was instantly positive, " 39-year-old secondary school teacher Nicola Cash told Reuters from her home in Cheshire on Christmas morning, Saturday (December 25).

When isolation rules changed, limiting quarantine time to only 7 days, she and her family of four felt a short glimmer of hope that they might make it out by Christmas day.

Yet mandatory daily lateral flow tests for the rest of her family revealed her second son to be positive for COVID-19 by Christmas day, forcing them to isolate from their extended families, with whom they had planned to spend the holiday in a hotel.

Cash's story is only one of thousands across Britain, where Omicron's rapid spread has driven a surge in cases over the last seven days, especially in the capital.

In the Northampton town of Desborough, 37-year-old school kitchen assistant and mother of two, Carolyn Oakes, also tested positive for COVID-19 just days before Christmas, along with her husband Neil.

Oakes and her family would normally gather with friends in homes or at restaurants, she is now forced to isolate, taking precautionary measures at home to keep her son and daughter from catching the virus. The children have not caught the virus so far.

Oakes says she is trying to be thankful for the good things she has this Christmas, believing that this year's holidays have been different, but still enjoyable.

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