Across the UK lockdown restrictions are in place in tiers depending on the level of coronavirus cases. This has meant New Year’s Eve celebrations have faced cancellation – with crowds unable to gather and households unable to mix. Instead, virtual celebrations over video call will be held by many.
Tier 4 restrictions are in place across 78 percent of England and are the strictest rules.
They mean households cannot invite anyone over unless they are part of a support bubble.
London’s yearly fireworks display on New Year’s Eve was cancelled by Mayor Sadiq Khan in September.
Mr Khan said “we simply cannot afford” to have large numbers of people gathering.
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People have been warned not to add “fuel to the fire” by mixing in groups, as almost half of all major hospital trusts in England deal with more Covid-19 patients than at the peak of the first wave of the virus.
Figures published today – as health staff and the Government urge people to ring in 2021 with their own household at home – also show just under a third of acute trusts have more Covid-19 patients than at any point since the pandemic began.
Rates of infection are rising in all regions of the country, according to the latest data from Public Health England, and the 55,892 daily lab-confirmed cases in the UK on Thursday represent the latest record high since mass testing began in late May.
Urging people to stick to the rules in a bid to stop the spread, Public Health England medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said: “The Christmas week saw a worrying rise in cases across every region of the country, particularly among adults in their 20s and 30s.
“We must not now add further fuel to the fire, as meeting in close and large groups this New Year’s Eve risks further transmission.”