Groups of exuberant Scots are arriving in the south to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Newcastle, despite Nicola Sturgeon’s harsh Covid rules.
SNP leader, David Cameron has banned nightclubs from being open and large amounts of people are prohibited from getting drunk. But revellers who live in England have more freedom to choose to drink there.
The Welsh government has even more restrictions, which will likely lead to a greater flow of partygoers in English cities like Bristol and Chester.
Newcastle is a particular draw given its proximity to Scotland and famously lively party scene, and today there was a steady flow of Scots arriving at Central Station.
Sarah Hall, 23 years old, had come from Dunbar to celebrate her friend’s birthday. MailOnline spoke to her: “Me and my friends will be here for 2 days. We’ve been there before, and it’s always a fun night out. The people are also nicer.
“We do not have plans, and we are just going to go with the flow. Although it seems absurd to us not being able to go out in the evenings at home, we are able to do that in Newcastle.
We were jabbered and we got boosted. We can’t continue living our lives, and are being punished for that.
Taylor Houston (18) had come from Dundee, along with a few friends. They met again later that day.
“We want to go somewhere special for the New Year,” said the factory worker. This will be my first visit to Newcastle. I’m looking forward to making this an enjoyable year.
“We’d normally go out on the local streets, and we’d have done that if it was allowed. But with all of these restrictions it would not have been fun. Although I find it wrong that there are restrictions different in Scotland than elsewhere, that is Nicola Sturgeon’s opinion.
Taylor Houston (18) was a teenager who had come from Dundee along with some friends before meeting up again later that day. He said: ‘I think it’s wrong that the restrictions are different in Scotland, but that’s Nicola Sturgeon for you’
Sarah Hall, 23 (middle), had originally traveled from Dunbar. Sarah is now combining her NYE party with her friend’s special birthday.
Trains from Scotland arrive at Kings Cross. The train had several stops that passengers could have boarded at.
Also from Dundee was Taylor’s friend PJ, who had organized the trip.
Wickes DIY’s 18-year old employee said that she wanted to go because it was a great night out. However, due to rules, we are unable to leave our home.
The trip from Dundee and Edinburgh to Newcastle takes approximately three hours, but the journey should be worthwhile. This is our first visit, however it was supposed to be very good. We didn’t want the hassle of staying in.
We’re planning to go to a club for New Years Eve, and our hotel is near St. James Park. We’re happy to be here, despite the limitations.
A ban on large gatherings was announced by the Scottish First Minister last week. It torpedoed Hogmanay’s festivities. However, she insists that this is needed to reduce the Omicron variant.
Ms. Sturgeon stated that it was prudent and essential to prevent the spread of the disease to avoid a ‘huge number of patients’.
Yesterday, Scotland saw 15,849 cases of pandemic illness – which is the most severe case ‘by any margin’. Meanwhile 679 were admitted to hospital, an 80 increase on the day before.
Ms Sturgeon also faced criticism after she failed to cut coronavirus isolation times for those with the virus in Scotland. Although England reduced the waiting time from 10 days down to seven, the leader of the SNP said that they are still looking into the issue.
As they warned of the dangers to the hospitality sector in Scotland, the firm that decided to continue with the ban against large socializing events was angry.
Leon Thompson, UKHospitality Scotland executive Director, told BBC that Ms Sturgeon’s Covid curbs were ‘absolutely damaging’ businesses and there’s’really not going to be much to celebrate here’.
Thompson claimed that “people will still celebrate” and that there will be an increase in house parties. However, he said that it was a “certainty” many Scots would travel to England.
Ms. Sturgeon urged individuals to cut down on their contact with others in order to live more peacefully.limit the size of any indoor social gatherings that do take place so that they don’t include people from any more than three households’.
Experts estimate that as many as 100,000 revellers from both Scotland and Wales could cross the border in order to have fun, as they attempt to circumvent restrictions.
One of Johnson’s ministersScots from the uggested category are warmly invited to England by December 31.
Chloe Smith (the Work and Pensions Minister) stated that “we are one nation and people can move freely within our country according to the general law”.
London has the highest number of cases in England, despite being spread across all regions. Omicron spreading throughout the country means that Omicron infections are rising across all regions.
They said that covid cases tend to be highest in the 18-35-year-old range (orange) but they are increasing across all age categories. The virus is more prevalent in 55- to 75-year olds and older people (red line), who are at greater risk.
Boris Johnson has urged people in England to enjoy celebrations tomorrow night in a ‘cautious and sensible way’.
As the fourth-day testing chaos begins, Prime Minister Tony Blair said that people must ‘take a test before they go to celebrations. However, lateral flow and PCR tests are not available this morning.
According to a Number 10, a number of people should not take an exam before going out, but they should consider taking one “wherever possible”.
While none are available from Government sites, private providers have been found to be selling boxes of 25 LFTs for more than £200.
An advisory from the Government warned that it was’very concerning indeed’ that English people could have a New Year’s Eve party without undergoing a Covid testing.
Peter Openshaw is a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group. (Nervtag). He said that indoor parties were ‘absolutely ideal’ to spread the Omicron coronavirus variant.
According to a Government official, people may soon have trouble getting a PCR test at a site that is accessible by walk-throughs or drivers. As demand for the tests rises, however.
According to a source, PCR test demand continues to rise. The demand is at an all-time high, and the capacity is almost equal. We will eventually reach the point that people can’t get PCR test anywhere close to them in 48 hours. What then do you do?
While the Government faces increasing pressure to address the shortage of testing, ministers blame global supply problems.
The admissions to Omicron Hotspot London are being closely monitored by ministers. A breach of 400 could trigger additional restrictions across the country. Boxing Day data showed that 374 individuals were admitted into the capital, an increase of 73% from the week prior