One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a New Year’s Eve like no other.
With coronavirus lockdown restrictions in place across the country, there will be fewer ways to celebrate the end of 2020.
The government’s five day relaxation period over Christmas does not extend to New Year’s Eve, meaning celebrations will have to take place with members of your household only.
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How London celebrates the New Year will depend on which tier it’s in on December 31. The first tier review is expected to take place on December 16.
As of December 2, London will fall under Tier 2 restrictions, meaning we cannot socialise with anyone outside of our household.
However, the rules will be eased between December 23 and 27, allowing up to three households to get together, sadly this does not extend to December 31.
Being in Tier Two, pubs, bars and restaurants are allowed to open here in London, but certain restrictions apply.
If London is still in Tier 2 by December 31, then you will be able to frequent pubs, bars or restaurants with your household or support bubble on New Year’s Eve.
How will you be celebrating on New Year’s Eve? Let us know in the comments here.
The government’s guidance says: “You must follow the rules on where you can go and who you can meet, including on New Year’s Eve.
“Your Christmas bubble will no longer apply.”
What are Tier 2 restrictions?
According to the Government, Tier 2, the High alert level, is for areas “with a higher or rapidly rising level of infections, where some additional restrictions need to be in place.
This means that in Tier 2:
- You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in public.
- You must follow the rule of six and not socialise in a group of more than six people outside, including in a garden or public space.
- Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law – such as nightclubs.
- Pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
- Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises must provide table service only, where alcohol is served, and close between 11 pm and 5 am (with venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway services exempt). They must not take any orders after 10 pm.
- Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10 pm, as long as it is through delivery, click-and-collect or drive-through.
- Early closure (11 pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11 pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10 pm.
- Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is allowed, limited to 50 per cent capacity of 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 indoors, depending which is lower.
- Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and with the same rules regarding capacity as above.
- Places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while indoors there unless a legal exemption applies.
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stone settings.
- Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue.
- Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing.
- You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
- If you live in a Tier 2 area, you must continue to follow Tier 2 rules when you travel to a Tier 1 area. Avoid travel or overnight stayed in Tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through a Tier 3 area as part of a longer journey.
Alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal, so you can’t go out with the sole intention of drinking.
By New Year’s Eve standards, it is going to be a relatively early night for most Londoners because of the curfew, last orders will be called at 10pm, with venues having to shut by 11 pm.
Nothing has been announced to change that for welcoming in the new year.
A vote on the new tier system is due to take place in Parliament on Tuesday (December 1).
The current tiers will be reviewed after two weeks.