Revellers hit the town before Plan B curbs come in on Wednesday

O Come All Ye DRINKERS! Revellers hit the town for boozy night out… before Plan B curbs come in on Wednesday meaning clubbers must show a Covid pass

  • Revellers were spotted donning festive headgear as they got in their Christmas bashes early in Manchester
  • Long queues also seen forming outside nightclubs in Leeds as pubs and bars remained as packed as ever
  • It came ahead of restrictions being tightened in England this morning in a bid to slow the Omicron variant 
  • Friday’s measures were introduced before mandatory Covid passports for large venues from Wednesday 

Revellers hit the town yesterday for a boozy night out before Plan B curbs meaning clubbers must show a Covid pass come into force next Wednesday.

In Newcastle and Manchester, revellers were spotted donning festive headgear and celebrating with work colleagues as they got in their Christmas bashes early. 

Long queues were also seen outside nightclubs in Leeds as pubs and bars remained as packed as ever – ahead of restrictions being tightened in England this morning in a bid to slow the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The legal requirement in England to wear masks has been extended to more indoor spaces including museums, galleries and community centres.  

Friday’s measures were introduced ahead of a return to working from home on Monday and mandatory Covid passports for large venues from Wednesday, as the Government’s Plan B comes into force.

The festive celebrations come as Public Health Scotland urges people to cancel their Christmas parties, in a message which clashes with Boris Johnson’s suggestion that bashes in England should still go ahead despite a call for workers to stay away from offices.

Revellers in Leeds were seen getting in their Christmas celebrations early – ahead of restrictions being tightened in England this morning in a bid to slow the Omicron coronavirus variant

One reveller is seen taking a selfie during a night out in Leeds. Meanwhile, the legal requirement in England to wear masks has been extended to more indoor spaces including museums, galleries and community centres

A man donning a festive suit is seen on a night out in Leeds. Friday’s measures were introduced ahead of a return to working from home on Monday and mandatory Covid passports for large venues from Wednesday, as Plan B comes into force

Long queues were also seen outside nightclubs in Leeds as pubs and bars remained as packed as ever. The festive celebrations come as Public Health Scotland urges people to cancel their Christmas parties

Dr Nick Phin, the organisation’s director of public health science, said revellers should delay their festive gatherings until another time to help in the effort to slow virus spread.

Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said cases of the variant will keep rising.

On restrictions, he told a Royal Society of Medicine briefing: ‘I think it’s a necessary evil … it’s very damaging for parts of the economy, the hospitality sector, retail sector in particular – they’re going to be affected.

‘Unfortunately, we have to do it. The rate at which this virus is spreading is doubling every two or three days.’

He added: ‘Even though there’s very few cases here now, and it seems like an overreaction, it absolutely is not an overreaction.’

Sports stadia are also included in regulations published on Thursday evening, but the Department of Health confirmed face coverings will only be mandatory in indoor areas. 

People enjoy a Christmas night out in Bristol. Dr Nick Phin, the organisation’s director of public health science, has said revellers should delay their festive gatherings until another time to help in the effort to slow virus spread

Revellers get in their Christmas celebrations early in Leeds. There were a total of 817 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the UK as of Thursday, the UK Health Security Agency said

Thursday night revellers brave the rain to enjoy a cold night out on the town in Newcastle in the run-up to Christmas

A group of revellers are spotted on a night out in Leeds. Health Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that the number of UK Omicron infections could hit one million by the end of the month

A man is pictured appearing to be restrained as two police officers stand nearby in Newcastle on Thursday evening 

Two men don festive headgear in Manchester. The new regulations will be put to a debate and vote in the Commons next week – and with Labour’s support they are certain to be approved, despite the prospect of a large Conservative revolt

People attending churches or other places of worship will have to wear a face mask – but will be allowed to take it off to sing, making people question whether the face covering will make any difference to the spread of Omicron.

The exemption has created confusion amid concerns that singing creates a higher risk of spreading Covid-19 by making droplets travel further.  

Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph cites an anonymous Government source as saying it is ‘very likely’ visitors in social care settings will be limited to only three designated visitors as part of plans being considered by ministers.

There were a total of 817 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the UK as of Thursday, the UK Health Security Agency said.

People are seen on a night out in Manchester ahead of coronavirus restrictions being tightened in England this morning

A group of revellers go pub golfing as they brave the rain to enjoy a night out in the town on Newcastle on Thursday evening

Revellers in Manchester enjoy a night out as Covid restrictions tighten in England. Plan B measures will be reviewed on January 5, before their expiry date of January 26

Police are seen in Leeds as people enjoyed a night out. Under new measures, masks do not need to be worn in hospitality settings such as pubs and restaurants, or in gyms or nightclubs

Two revellers in Manchester hit the town ahead of coronavirus restrictions being tightened in England this morning

But Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned that the number of UK Omicron infections could hit one million by the end of the month.

He has insisted the new measures are necessary to ‘build our collective defences’ through the vaccination programme in the face of the rapidly-spreading variant.

The new regulations will be put to a debate and vote in the Commons next week – and with Labour’s support they are certain to be approved, despite the prospect of a large Conservative revolt.

Despite officials appearing to say that under new rules shoppers could be allowed to remove their face coverings in supermarkets if they walked around the store singing, regulations state that someone may take a mask off if it is ‘reasonably necessary’ to sing.

The regulations state that such occasions ‘include singing as part of a choir, or during a service or rehearsal, or for performance’.

Downing Street has said it would be ‘hard to justify’ people having a ‘reasonable excuse’ to remove their masks to sing while getting groceries under the new rules.

Masks do not need to be worn in hospitality settings such as pubs and restaurants, or in gyms or nightclubs. 

Ministers have faced criticism for introducing tougher measures, with anger in the Conservative party fuelled by suspicions the new restrictions were introduced as an attempt to distract from the Prime Minister’s troubles over an alleged staff party in Downing Street during last December’s lockdown. 

The Plan B measures will be reviewed on January 5, before their expiry date of January 26. 

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