England facing NYE party ‘invasion’ as revellers in Scotland and Wales seek to avoid Covid curbs

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  • Nicola Sturgeon
    Nicola Sturgeon
    5th First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party
New Year’s celebrations in England will be allowed to go ahead without further restrictions, the UK Government has announced (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Archive)
New Year’s celebrations in England will be allowed to go ahead without further restrictions, the UK Government has announced (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Archive)

English venues are preparing for an influx of Scottish and Welsh partyseekers expected to jump across borders after Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford announced clampdowns on New Year’s celebrations.

While there is relief among business that New Year’s Eve celebrations will be able to go ahead in England, some scientists have expressed concern about the lack of new restrictions following the surge in Covid cases.

The decision announced by Health Secretary Sajid Javid leaves England out of step with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which have all brought in new post-Christmas controls.

People on social media likened the anticipated invasion of revellers to scenes from the movie Braveheart as others shared their plans to cross the border and enjoy a night out in places like Bristol and Newcastle.

Some Geordies welcomed Scots with open arms to “Europe’s Las Vegas”.

One Welshman said on Twitter: “I’ve had 3 jabs. I’ve lost 2 bookings in hotels in Swansea ..boxing night and nye....feck it.

“I’ve now booked three nights in Torquay ...all the people in my local in Swansea are off to Bristol, Newcastle and Liverpool.”

Another said: “Mate owns a club that has sold out for NYE in Wales...he’s putting busses on to bring them to Bristol for the night. What a f***ing crock. Waste of money. Waste of time. Waste of carbon.”

On social media, one wrote: “I’ll probably go to Bristol to go out clubbing considering night clubs are closed in Wales. Genuinely the government between England, Scotland and Wales need to be working together because it’s become points scoring and who can do better.

Another said: “Regrettably just cancelled our restaurant and hotel bookings for 12 in Cardiff and rebooked for Bristol for NYE.”

It came as University of Brighton virologist Dr Sarah Pitt said it does not make sense for UK nations to have different Covid restrictions.

She told LBC Radio: “If people can’t go to a New Year’s Eve party in Wales or Scotland, they’ll just tip over the borders into England, won’t they, thus potentially taking the virus and spreading it… and then taking it back home.

“So it makes sense to have one set of measures across the whole country and I think it does make sense to have some measures to try and stop the spread of the virus at this point.”

England currently has the most relaxed rules in the UK, but a recent vote in Parliament saw some measures introduced, including Covid passes for entry into nightclubs and other venues as of December 15.

This applies to indoor events with 500 or more attendees where people are likely to stand or move around, such as music venues, outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees, such as music festivals, and any events with 10,000 or more attendees, whether indoors or outdoors, such as sports stadiums.

Face coverings have also been made compulsory in most indoor public settings, as well as on public transport, and people have been told to work from home if they can.

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