“ Churches should not be shutting their doors at Christmas time” – It is easy to be overtaken by the prevalent spirit of fear, but churches should balance risk with opportunity and duty, writes Michael Nazir Ali in the Telegraph. “ Small companies fear more Covid restrictions” – “A majority of small and medium-sized businesses expect the Government to deal them ‘a body blow’ by putting further restrictions in place this month, according to a survey,” reports the Times. “ We cannot let them lock us down again” – If we can’t live freely when the population is vaccinated and boostered, then when can we?, asks Fraser Myers in Spiked. “ England hospital units may close as staff revolt over jab mandate, says NHS leader” – Vaccination rule comes into force in April but many staff are unwilling to participate, warns NHS Providers chief, reports the Guardian. “ Boris Johnson will not impose more Covid restrictions before Christmas” – “Boris Johnson is unlikely to impose further Covid restrictions before Christmas after delaying a decision today,” reports the Times. “ Cheese and wine-gate? The media have lost the plot” – The real scandal here is that having a few drinks in the sun was ever illegal in the first place, writes Tom Slater in Spiked. “ Clun pub facing losses over Omicron cancellations” – The White Horse in Clun, Shropshire, will lose money for two months in a row, its landlord says, reports BBC News. “ Covid has only exacerbated the crisis millions of children face” – More than a million vulnerable children in England now grow up with diminished life chances – we must do more to help them, writes Hilary Armstrong in the Telegraph. “ Scientists call for urgent inquiry into care home residents who died of ‘broken hearts’” – A team of top scientists has called for an inquiry into tens of thousands of non-Covid deaths in care homes after finding evidence vulnerable residents died of thirst, starvation and ‘broken hearts’ in the pandemic, reports the Express. “ There is risk in not spending Christmas with my elderly parents” – There comes a point when you have to decide – not whether you want to live or die, but whether you want to live at all, says Mark Piggot in the Telegraph. “ European borders closed to Brits to slow the spread of Covid Omicron variant” – “The classification of Britain as a high-risk ‘virus variant area’ follows a French ban on travel and will be followed by other European bans over the coming days,” reports the Times. “ Is our duty to avoid harm unlimited?” – “That this bizarre splinter society is also one that turns its back on our human rights is merely the confirmation of what many of us have long suspected: that the politicization of a nasty virus now threatens to unravel civil society in its entirety,” says Chris Bateman for the American Institute for Economic Research. “ Queen’s University to return to remote learning in January” – The University said it was returning to online lectures and seminars after “having reviewed the developing public health situation”, reports BBC News. “ The left would sacrifice the unvaccinated” – What happened to the principle that everyone deserves healthcare?, asks Kat Rosenfield in UnHerd. “ Covid Omicron variant may damage lungs less than Delta” – “The Omicron variant may damage the lungs less than earlier strains of Covid, laboratory tests suggest,” reports the Times. “ The erasure of liberty” – The Covid culture of fear is the greatest threat to freedom in the 21st century, says Brendan O’Neill in Spiked. “ U.K. high streets hit by dip in footfall over key Christmas weekend” – ‘Growing nervousness’ among shoppers because of Omicron variant, reports the Guardian. “ Why Ash Barty won’t push unvaccinated teen to get jab” – “World number one Ash Barty has spoken with rising star Olivia Gadecki about her decision not to get vaccinated for the Australian Open but won’t try to change her mind,” reports PerthNow. “ Military refuses to grant religious exemption to 12,000 troops” – “The Department of Defence has delayed granting exemptions to more than 12,000 American troops looking to avoid getting the Covid vaccine for religious reasons,” reports the Mail. “ Do we need university HR departments?” – “Nowadays, these departments seem more focused on pursuing a ‘woke’ culture, dictating what staff can say or do or even think (or increasingly not), and introducing evidence-free, trendy but transient initiatives,” write David Thompson and Roger Watson in the European Conservative. “ Woke demands similar to ‘religious fervour,’ University professor reportedly says” – “Academics hoping for promotion at University College London reportedly have to limit the number of ‘dead white men’ in their courses, under a scheme to ‘liberate’ the curriculum from its ‘Eurocentric, male-dominated’ focus,” reports RT. “ Wokepedia’s greed makes a mockery of the season of giving” – The Wikipedia donation banner insists that ‘the price of a cup of coffee is all we need’ – but it doesn’t need it at all, writes Andrew Orlowski in the Telegraph. “ Christmas time, cheese and wine, Downing Street’s having a whale of a time” – The agenda for the emergency Cabinet meeting has been leaked to the press, with those reportedly present at the meeting tasked with selecting three out of a possible five cheeses to bring to this week’s Downing Street Christmas party.