Boxing Day celebrations continue amid fears New Year parties could be cancelled

Revellers in England dressed to the nines to hit clubs on Boxing Day amid fears it could be the last big night out of 2021.

Young people were pictured getting messy as the nation waits to hear if fresh Covid curbs will be introduced to tackle soaring Omicron cases.

England is now the only part of the UK to be left in the dark after Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland brought in restrictions yesterday.

The wait will soon be over, as Boris Johnson is set to be briefed on the latest data on infections, hospitalisations and deaths today.

There are concerns big New Years Eve bashes could be cancelled – so partygoers went whole-hog on celebrations on Sunday evening.

Giggling nuns and cowgirls were spotted outside clubs as people sported fancy dress on King Street in Wigan, Greater Manchester.

A couple was seen rolling in the road while one young woman sat in front of a police van.

Things weren’t calmer in Newcastle where cops were spotted surrounding a man.

Big groups glammed-up and posed for the camera as the Government’s lockdown decision loomed.

There are reports Downing Street is leaning towards new Covid guidance that urges people to be careful rather than laws.

Mr Johnson is said to have been warned not to over-react by members of his Cabinet, as well as backbenchers.

One minister told The Guardian the data was ‘struggling to be persuasive’ of the need for updates to coronavirus laws. 

Meanwhile Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories, told LBC: ‘The latest figures we had before Christmas showed that the number of cases in hospital was relatively stable – and that is the main measure why we need any further lockdowns, is to deal with infectivity in hospitals, and I don’t see that before Christmas. 

‘So, I hope the prime minister will be very, very cautious before introducing further measures.’

Sir Geoffrey added that people were ‘taking matters into their own hands and being very cautious themselves’, saying: ‘That is the best answer in this situation – let people make their own decisions.’ 

But it comes after businesses slammed the Government for messaging around the pandemic last week.

They say they’ve been ‘kneecapped’, with officials creating fear around Omicron, but offering no financial support as thousands avoid going out.

London’s West End saw a drop of almost half of pre-pandemic footfall levels on Boxing Day, a retail expert has said.

Footfall was 44% below 2019 levels on Sunday – ‘largely due to the emergence of the Omicron variant’.

Chief executive Jace Tyrrell said: ‘As expected, footfall for Boxing Day remained down on pre-pandemic levels as London continues to feel the effects of the Omicron variant, with swathes of people choosing to remain home to browse the sales online rather than risk travelling into city centres.

‘This, combined with the limitations of Sunday Trading regulations, saw a muted start to the post-Christmas sales period.

‘We hope that the Prime Minister will provide further clarity on possible restrictions this week to ensure that businesses are given enough time to prepare for any further changes.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source: Read Full Article