politics

New Year’s Eve pub trips with friends banned as No10 issues strict Covid warning


Ringing in the new year at the pub with friends is banned for 99 per cent of Brits, with the Government warning there will be no exceptions to the severe restrictions.

Heading to the pub or a house party to mark the arrival of 2021, with new guidance for Christmas reiterating “everyone must follow the rules on where you can go”.

Westminster and the devolved governments across the UK have agreed to allow a temporary easing of restrictions between December 23 and 27 to allow up to three households to mix.

From Wednesday, all but a few hundred thousand people in England will be in Tiers 2 or 3, banning mixing doors as Boris Johnson’s national lockdown comes to an end.



The Government has reiterated people must abide by new rules as they ring in 2021

And those measures – which also include a ban on going to the pub unless it serves substantial meals and only with people in your household – must be adhered to in the final days of December and into January 1.

In Tier 3, which consists of around 23.3 million people living in large swathes of the Midlands, North East and North West, pubs and restaurants are closed except for takeaway drinks.

The government’s guidance says: “You must follow the rules on where you can go and who you can meet, including on New Year’s Eve.



Friends from different households must not meet indoors for 99 per cent of UK

“Your Christmas bubble will no longer apply.”

Mr Johnson has emphasised the tiers will be reviewed every two weeks, with the first on December 16.

The Prime Minister reportedly faces a mutiny from up to 70 Tory MPs after laying out which areas would be subject to which tiers, with only Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly in Tier 1 – amounting to 714,000 people.



Boris Johnson

MPs will vote on the Tiers plan on Tuesday.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has been told the area will likely be downgraded from Tier 3 to Tier 2, The Sunday Times reported.

In a letter sent to colleagues on Saturday, Mr Johnson reportedly said the new system would include a “sunset clause” or expiry date of February 3.

Around 16 million people in Tier 3 areas are expected to be downgraded to Tier 2 at the first review.

It comes after Professor Chris Whitty indicated that Tier 2 measures are unlikely to reduce infections, while reports suggest the tiers will be fixed until mid-January when the impact of the Christmas window is fully known.

Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, however, put the dampeners on the prospect of widespread easing prior to Christmas, arguing “almost certainly anywhere that goes into Tier 1” will experience a rise in cases”.

He said the Government could only risk dropping areas into the bottom tier if they’re “very confident indeed”, with winter being a notoriously difficult time for the already stretched NHS.

Professor Whitty added that only when vaccines are rolled out next year could the country “little by little” begin to “walk out of this down the tiers”.





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