Mounting Omicron Infections Force Businesses to Scramble
The COVID-19 variant threatens the economic recovery
The omicron coronavirus (COVID-19) variant is slowing the economic recovery, making worker shortages for already-shorthanded employers more severe and leading consumers to pull back from spending on restaurants, hotels and airlines that have been battered by two years of pandemic upheaval.
Since it was first detected in southern Africa late last year, the highly contagious coronavirus variant has sparked restrictions on business activity in several countries.
This week, in the United States, major airlines canceled thousands of flights, while public transit systems in New York and Washington curtailed service because of staffing shortages. Professional sports schedules were upended and corporations such as American Express, Goldman Sachs and The Washington Post have shelved their January return-to-office plans.
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