Rules on socialising on New Year’s Eve explained for all of the UK


Brits are being urged to be cautious when celebrating on New Year’s Eve as daily Covid infections reach record highs across the globe

Fireworks light up the sky above the London Eye during New Year celebrations
Fireworks light up the sky above the London Eye during New Year celebrations

Boris Johnson has repeated his appeal for Brits to get their Covid booster so they can enjoy the New Year “sensibly and cautiously.”

The Prime Minister said the coronavirus Omicron variant “continues to cause real problems” but insisted it was milder than the Delta strain.

Speaking on Wednesday, he said up to 90% of Covid patients in intensive care were not boosted according to doctors.

The PM is also facing calls to shorten the Covid quarantine period from seven to five days to avoid an NHS staffing crisis, as thousands of doctors and nurses are having to self-isolate with the virus.

Meanwhile pharmacists warned the lack of lateral flow tests is a “huge” problem following unprecedented demand over the festive period.

Covid infections reached a record high for several countries over the Christmas period with almost 900,000 cases reported worldwide on average each day, according to Reuters.

With December 31 just days away, here is the latest guidance for the UK when it comes to visiting friends, family and holding parties this New Year’s Eve.

Fireworks at Big Ben in London
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England

Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed there will be no new Covid restrictions in England before the New Year.

However, ministers have said people should “remain cautious” and celebrate outside on New Year’s Eve where possible.

Thousands of revellers escaping Covid rules elsewhere in the UK are expected to arrive in England to welcome in the new year.

England remains under Plan B rules which require people to wear a face covering in most indoor public places and on public transport.

People are advised to work from home if possible but there are no restrictions on travel or mixing households.

Clubs, pubs and restaurants remain open with no strict rules on social distancing.

Busy bars and restaurants in Soho, London
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Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is urging caution over New Year in Scotland where Hogmanay remains cancelled.

Further Covid restrictions were introduced after Christmas with nightclubs being forced to shut their doors unless they offer table service only along with pubs and restaurants.

Customers are being asked to keep a one metre distance from one another.

The Scottish government is advising people to stay at home more than normal, limit social mixing, ventilate rooms and take Covid tests.

From Boxing Day, only 100 people are allowed to attend indoor events where people are standing, or 200 for seated indoor events.

A limit of 500 people is imposed on outdoor events.

Ms Sturgeon said the new measures are expected to stay in force until January 17 at the earliest.

Scots are being asked to limit social mixing over New Year
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Wales

Nightclubs are also closed in Wales where only six people are allowed to meet in pubs, restaurants and cinemas.

The additional measures were introduced on Boxing Day which also saw the return of the two-metre social distancing rule.

Indoor events are limited to 30 people while outdoor events are capped at 50.

People in London’s Leicester Square on December 23
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Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Northern Ireland

Stormont Ministers announced strict new lockdown measures before Christmas in a bid to curb the spread of Covid.

Restrictions include nightclub closures from Boxing Day plus a return to table service only at pubs and restaurants, reports Belfast Live.

Dancing is banned at indoor venues except for weddings which are exempt from the latest measures.

People are also strongly recommended to limit mixing to a maximum of three households.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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