With the ugly spectre of more restrictions hanging over us, the PM said there'd be none in England before Christmas. But, and it's a big 'but', Mr Johnson said ministers "can't rule out" any further measures after 25 December, with Omicron spreading at a speed never seen before. He added the government would continue to closely monitor the data and would "not hesitate to act" after Christmas if needed. In Scotland, however, Nicola Sturgeon, who seems to delight in always going at least two steps further than us, announced tough new measures to start from Boxing Day. Large events would have limits on the number of people that could attend, and Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations have been cancelled. In response to cries of help from the retail sector and hospitality, Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out a £1 billion fund to help businesses hit by the rise in Covid cases. Hospitality businesses like pubs and restaurants would be able to apply for cash grants of up to £6,000 per premises. The government would also help some firms with the cost of sick pay for Covid-related absences, Mr Sunak said. And he announced an extra £30 million to help theatres and museums. Many hospitality and leisure firms have been hit by a collapse in bookings and reduced footfall due to people's fears over the spread of the Omicron variant. Finally, a man pleaded not guilty to the murder of my colleague Sir David Amess in an alleged terror attack. Ali Harbi Ali, 25, from Kentish Town, north London, appeared at the Old Bailey to deny murdering the Conservative politician on 15 October. Sir David, an MP since 1983, was holding a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, when he was stabbed multiple times. The father of five - who was 69 years old - died at the scene. The defendant also pleaded not guilty to preparing acts of terrorism between May 2019 and September 2021.