The Government has refused to relax restrictions on New Year’s Eve rules including allowing households to mix indoors or extending the hospitality curfew beyond midnight.
Operators and city leaders have said the tough rules could mean revellers socialise in unsafe environments like private homes and pleaded for permission to host safe celebrations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated to the public there would be no easing of rules on New Year’s Eve at a press conference on Saturday 19 December. “As before, there will be no relaxation on 31 December, so people must not break the rules at New Year,” he said.
Different households will be allowed to meet up indoors on just Christmas Day and only if they live in an area under tier one, two or three, the Prime Minister announced.
Jamie Baker owns the Quench bar in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, and told The Morning Advertiser he was confident his venue could “provide a safe environment for an extra couple of hours”.
“For New Year’s Eve, I was looking to be able to continue the fantastic work my team had helped to create over the last few months but just to see us through to midnight – perhaps everyone to be out by half past midnight,” he said.
“We have ensured the safety of our customers from the outset, insisting on [contact tracing] before it was enforced and other measures to ensure we did more than other venues in our area.”
The pub would host a scaled-back celebration to facilitate customers meeting close friends safely, Baker added.