New Year’s Eve parties have been given the green light to go ahead in England (Photo: Getty Images)
Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Monday (27 December) there will be no limits on social mixing beyond the Plan B measures that are currently in place. The decision earmarks England as different from devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which all brought in new post-Christmas controls.
While the move was welcomed by hospitality bosses, there are fears that fresh restrictions may instead be put in place in the New Year in a bid to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.
Greater Manchester’s night-time economy advisor, Sacha Lord, welcomed the announcement after a tough year for Manchester’s hospitality and nightlife scene - but warned more Government help needed to be made available to help businesses in the sector navigate 2022.
He tweeted: “This announcement is bigger than a New Years Eve party in England. For many, this will give hope. For many, this will help some struggling at the moment. A tough decision, but a defining one.”
He later added: “NYE is just one night though. December trade was devastated for many. If businesses/jobs are to survive Jan, the Chancellor urgently needs to re-engage. 6k doesn’t touch the sides and doesn’t cut it.”
What have other people said?
Some people responding on Twitter welcomed the news that pubs and clubs will be open for New Year, whereas others expressed concerns about the possible ramifications.
John Wumz tweeted: “Don’t forget these guys (taxi drivers) too. As well as the suppliers etc. they need the revenue. The decision was the correct one.”
Richard Reason replied: “I just hope customers come out in droves.”
Kevin MacDonald tweeted: “If people believe this is the wrong decision and Government should be instructing them to stay home, don’t go to pubs and nightclubs, don’t see friends and family, don’t go to the theatre, then why don’t they just do all of that and not blame Boris for not forcing it upon them?”
However, some people said had concerns about the announcement’s possible impact.
Dominic Booth posted: “If people are going out, take a lateral flow test. Infecting staff and making the venue less safe is irresponsible. Not only are you putting staff on sick pay. They will consider other jobs that keep them safe, making hospitality less viable.”
Bradley Grant replied: “I hope people do take lat flow tests before going out. I’m all for this decision but feel it would be a good idea for the messaging to be ‘go out, but if you do, please test first out of respect to others.’ That messaging could make a big difference.”