Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new ‘rule of six’ last Wednesday, when he announced tougher measures to tackle to increasing likelihood of a second wave of coronavirus.
Revellers packed town and city centres to make the most of one last night of freedom before gatherings of more than six people are banned.
With new restrictions coming in to play from tomorrow, Brits flocked to town centres to enjoy a big night out – which might be the last one until after Christmas
Pubs, bars and clubs across the UK were packed last night ahead of the Government’s “Rule of Six” coming into play.
These will double for repeat offenders, reaching a maximum fine of £3,200.
From tomorrow, people in England will be banned from meeting in groups of more than six in private homes or public indoor places, with on-the-spot fines of £100.
Households and support bubbles are exempt, and it doesn’t affect workplaces or schools.
Current rules stipulate that up to 30 people from two separate households can meet in public. But from midnight tonight, all that will change.
Brits had almost a full week in which to attend large gatherings before they became illegal.
Controversially, Johnson announced new ‘Coronavirus Wardens’ would help local authorities by monitoring groups of people meeting up – and reporting back on their antics if they have broken rules.
But last night thoughts of the killer virus were at the backs of boozers’ minds as they got dolled up for a night on the town.
It is not known if the new restrictions will be lifted or increased by the time Christmas arrives, leaving many larger families and those with older relatives deeply troubled about logistics.
Youngsters in Manchester, Newcastle, London and Cardiff were seen letting their hair down – and ignoring social distancing for a last hurrah with pals… and plenty of booze.
There were fears that the Government’s delay in enforcing the restrictions would result in people putting themselves in danger of infection by going out to crowded pubs and parties this weekend.
John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “There is a real risk some members of the public will take advantage of the current situation and treat this weekend as a party weekend ahead of the tighter restrictions being introduced on Monday.
“Alcohol and warm weather are not a good combination at the best of times.