New Years Eve photos and video show huge queues outside bars as UK hosts 2022 amid Covid outbreak
Watch the huge lines of revelers in Nottingham city center on New Years Eve.(Photos of Ashley Kirk)
New Year’s revelers lined up for Nottingham and BirminghamThe night of bars and clubs to celebrate the end of the year 2021.
Images also show long lines outside Birmingham’s bars, and the German market was packed as revelers rang the bell in 2022.
After some uncertainty, New Years parties in England were allowed after Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced that there would be no new restrictions until Jan. 1, but people were warned to take precautions.
Boris Johnson has urged people to take lateral flow tests, try to ensure ventilation and get their booster shots before the party night as the Omicron variant surges across the UK.
(Photos by SnapperSK)
People may also have been encouraged by unusually warm temperatures for the season – the hottest on record.
The East Midlands Ambulance Service said it received a record 1,174 emergency calls in the first seven hours of 2022.That’s 153 more than January 1, 2020 that saw 1,021 calls, and 453 more than that day last year when the UK was on lockdown.
Strategic Commander David Williams said: “New Years Eve through New Years is historically one of our busiest times of the year, but when combined with unprecedented levels of demand that our service experienced last year, it naturally led to the record – a record number of calls that we saw in the early hours of this morning.
“We continue to prioritize patients who would be in immediate life-threatening emergencies.
“We need each person to play their part in being responsible for their own health, so that we can continue to focus on accessing the patients who really need us due to a life-threatening emergency.
People working in the hospitality industry were concerned the Covid government guidelines would affect their earnings last night, and a bar owner said he had far fewer reservations than expected.
Steve Bazell runs That Gin & Cocktail Bar in Warwick.
He told ITV News Central that as of early December and the early warnings about Omicron, around 70% of all bookings have been canceled and bookings that have taken place have fewer people in attendance.
Then, the expected increase in New Years Eve bookings from mid-December simply did not happen.
Customers who had been drinking in his bar last night had curtailed their plans, followed by a meal with a few drinks – rather than going to a party.
Up to 60% of his business for the year is during the Christmas and New Years period, and he thinks the next two months are going to be very difficult.
In London, the annual fireworks display took place, but people were told to stay away and watch it on TV at home.
Writing in the Daily Mail on New Years Day, Sajid Javid said England had “hosted in 2022 with some of the least restrictive measures in Europe”.
The Health Secretary added that “restrictions on our freedom must be an absolute last resort and the British people rightly expect us to do everything in our power to avoid them”.