English border pubs are expecting upwards of 100,000 Scottish and Welsh revellers to cross into England on New Year’s Eve amid mounting anger at Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford for cracking down on festivities. MailOnline has more.
On Monday, Boris Johnson confirmed England will not see additional Covid measures introduced before New Year’s Eve despite nightclubs closing and curbs being placed on large gatherings in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The restrictions on events in neighbouring nations are expected to prompt a flood of people crossing into England to celebrate on Friday December 31st.
Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney today admitted the Scottish government is powerless to stop Scots heading to England.
But he said he would “discourage” people from making the trip, arguing it is not in the “spirit of the rules that we are putting forward”.
Mr Swinney said there will be no policing of the border to stop people crossing and ultimately “people are free to make their own judgements”.
His comments came as Ms Sturgeon prepares to deliver a Covid update this afternoon after case numbers in Scotland reached record highs.
The festive period has seen daily cases in Scotland climb to more than 8,000, with a pandemic-high of 11,030 recorded on Boxing Day.
It remains unclear whether Ms Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, is planning to introduce further restrictions, stick with the ones she has already announced, or remove some of the existing curbs.
The regional differences on social gatherings are expected to see a surge in Scottish and Welsh revellers crossing into England on New Year’s Eve.
Greg Mulholland, at the Campaign for Pubs, said as many as 100,000 could cross the borders for a “normal” New Year’s Eve without table service-only or mask wearing requirements.
He told the Sun: “We need a more coordinated, common sense approach. It’s confusing for the many thousands of people who live near a border, and frustrating for publicans in Scotland and Wales.”
Social media was flooded with people saying they planned to head to England on Friday to bring in the New Year in the face of stringent restrictions on clubs and bars in their own nations.
Furious Tory MPs and hospitality bosses in Scotland and Wales yesterday demanded Ms Sturgeon and Mr Drakeford, the Welsh First Minister, publish figures justifying their Covid crackdowns.
City centres in the principalities, including Northern Ireland, were pictured desolate and lifeless last night amid the introduction of new Covid restrictions for pubs and clubs, which included the rule of six and social distancing for thousands of venues.
Meanwhile revellers let their hair down in England after Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed no new rules would be put in place before the end of the year.