Following confirmation that no new Covid restrictions will be introduced in England this week, New Year’s celebrations are set to look a lot different depending on where you are in the UK.
While Boris Johnson has confirmed that bars, clubs and restaurants in England will remain open at full capacity, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all already put new measures in place to limit social gatherings.
In Scotland, restrictions came into force on Monday, December 27, reintroducing social distancing, with restaurants and pubs limited to table service, and places that serve alcohol required to keep customers and groups one metre apart. Indoor events have been limited to 100 people standing or 200 seated, with crowds at outdoor events, including football matches, reduced to 500.
Nightclubs have also been closed for the next three weeks, with large-scale Hogmanay celebrations, including the main event in Edinburgh, cancelled. In a statement announcing the developments, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that while Scots would still be permitted to gather to see in the New Year, the ‘core advice’ was to minimise social activity, and to limit any gatherings to no more than three households.
In Wales, a two-metre social distancing rule has been implemented, along with requirements on mask wearing and contact tracing in public venues. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has also announced the return of the ‘rule of six’, and 30-person and 50-person limits on indoor and outdoor events respectively, with nightclubs ordered to close.
As in Scotland, that means sports events will effectively be held behind closed doors for the next three weeks.
The Welsh government is also urging people to ‘think carefully’ about who they meet, and to take special care when meeting the elderly or the vulnerable.
Northern Ireland has also introduced stricter measures, including a total ban on all indoor standing events, including nightclubs and gigs, as well as a ban on dancing (though exceptions are made for weddings).
The rule of six has also returned, with pubs, cafes and restaurants limited to table service.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that England would for now not be seeing the return of similar measures, however mask-wearing and Covid passes remain in place, Javid also said people should ‘remain cautious’.
Covid-19 cases have reached all-time high levels in all four UK nations following the emergence of the Omicron variant.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read