Drinkers in Tier 2 areas have hit bars and pubs for their last pint of the year before diving into Tier 3 or Tier 4 at midnight after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that most of England would be under stricter restrictions by spring will live.
The last time revelers were seen walking the streets in Liverpool was in 2020 when they queued to enter a bar for the last remaining hours before the region moved into Tier 3. Bars and restaurants had to close, except for takeout.
Elsewhere in the country in Exeter, drinkers were seen making the world right as they laughed and joked outside a downtown bar. This was possibly their only chance to celebrate the upcoming New Year before the region moved into Tier 3.
During a press conference that evening, Boris Johnson warned of a new "reality" with the rampant mutant Covid as it slammed virtually all of England into brutal lockdown – with the UK recording 981 deaths at its worst daily number since April and vaccines the only hope the escape.
The Prime Minister expressed "bitter regrets" after it was revealed that three-quarters of the country will be in Tier 4 by midnight and added the rest of the Southeast, Midlands, Northeast, parts of the Northwest and parts of the Southwest to the top bracket.
Two couples walk hand in hand as they make their way to a bar in central Liverpool before Tier 3 restrictions go into effect at midnight
Despite the almost freezing weather, customers can enjoy a drink outside a bar in Liverpool
Revelers enjoy a night out in the center of Liverpool in north-west England before tightened Tier 3 restrictions include the closure of restaurants and bars
The highest Tier 4 rules that require all non-essential deals to be closed now apply to more than 44 million.
All remaining areas – with the exception of just 2,000 people in the Isles of Scilly – will be expanded to Tier 3, including Liverpool, which was previously seen as an example of how to deal with the disease.
This means that in a bizarre void, it is believed that only three pubs are open on New Year's Eve in England this year. They are all in the Isles of Scilly.
In response to today's news, huge crowds were drunk on the North Tyneside coast just hours before the region entered the fourth stage.
People gathered in groups to celebrate the festive season on Front Street in Tynemouth and nearby Fish Quay, both of which are lined with bars offering take-away drinks.
It is believed that facilities can continue to operate while non-essential businesses such as hairdressers and gyms will have to close.
Last minute shoppers could be seen on Northumberland Street in Newcastle city center before stricter restrictions went into effect.
The drinkers are celebrating their last drinks of 2020 in Exeter, Devon after Johnson announced he would plunge almost all of England into Tier 3 or 4
Friends are enjoying their last drink together for months as today's announcement puts a hold on New Year's Eve plans
Pedestrians are walking through central Liverpool tonight before tightened Tier 3 restrictions, which begin closing restaurants and bars, begin at midnight
Three friends look glamorous making the most of their last night in Liverpool in 2020, ahead of Tier 3 restrictions
Friends curl up while they spend an evening in Liverpool before breaking Tier 3 restrictions, which close bars and pubs in the area
Crowds gather outside a bar as they queue to spend their final hours of drinking in 2020
Revelers on Mathew Street in Liverpool who popped up for a drink downtown before diving into Tier 3
Despite the wet weather, hundreds enjoyed their last pints in a real bar before drinking back home
Groups of people can be seen on the main street in Liverpool as many visit bars and others appear to have done most of the business
Revelers enjoy an evening out in the center of Liverpool. The UK government announced stricter restrictions on coronavirus across England from midnight. A new Covid-19 variant is blamed for a rapid increase in cases
Two drinkers definitely make the most of their last night on the town while sipping cocktails from large pitchers
Well-dressed revelers enjoy an evening out in central Liverpool. The government decided to tighten restrictions after a new variant of Covid-19 was blamed for a rapid increase in cases
The highest Tier 4 rules, which require all non-essential stores, hairdressers, and leisure and entertainment venues to close, now apply to more than 44 million people. Liverpool moving into Tier 3 is pictured
Independent businesses in Tynemouth spoke of their grief this afternoon after hearing news that they would have to close just weeks after they reopen.
Jill Snailham, 55, has owned the Frank and Ruby Boutique, which sells a selection of independent fashion labels from across Europe, for 11 years.
She said, “I'm not surprised. I expected that. Luckily we have been very busy over the Christmas season and I hope we can deal with it in the weeks and months to come. We worked very hard. We will act online.
“But I'm afraid we might be closed until Easter. I will miss the hustle and bustle of a busy business. If I can keep clicking and collecting, there will still be customer interaction, which is something. I just don't like it when Matt Hancock brings this news with a smile on his face.
A group of women are enjoying their last night in York in 2020 as the region switches from Tier 2 to Tier 3
Women make the most of a night out in York before the tighter restrictions go into effect
Police in York chat with members of the public as restrictions move to Tier 3 and all bars close
Groups of people enjoy take-away drinks in Tier 3 Tynemouth, North Tyneside, before pubs close service in Tier 4
People gathered in groups to celebrate the festive season on Front Street in Tynemouth and nearby Fish Quay, both of which are lined with bars offering take-away drinks
Revelers put their drinks on the floor while standing outside a bar that offers take-away service in Tynemouth
Large groups of people buy takeaway drinks tonight and gather in the streets and on the beach in Tynemouth, North Tyneside
Police officers are patrolling the area in masks as restrictions are due to go into effect tonight
Andy Westwood took to Twitter after realizing that only three pubs would be open in England on New Year's Eve
“I don't think the government handled the situation very well. I think they have to create a more level playing field.
“What is the essence of what the range sells? It is the small independent businesses that are hardest hit. "It doesn't seem very fair."
Cilena Easton, 52, and Dawn White, 48, own Fezziwigs, a home and gift shop, and neighboring Artichoke, a card dealer in Tynemouth, North Tyneside.
Ms. Easton said, “We just have to close, we have no choice. I think we need to have a full ban across the board. The bars in the village can still be opened to take away.
“Crowds are gathering outside, and things can go on. I have nothing against the hotel industry and I want our local restaurants and pubs to continue trading. I have the greatest sympathy for your situation.
& # 39; It's her livelihood. But it doesn't make sense that we have to close if they can stay open. We can understand why the bars do that. These are local families and couples who have to make a living, but something has to change.
“Gardens are used as toilets. That has to stop. Under normal circumstances, when everything is open, this is a brilliant village. But it's not going very well right now. This shop is really safe. We only allow four people at a time.
“Everyone has to fight Bac and wear masks. Our customers have been wonderful. We were very busy before Christmas. You supported us so much. More people bought locally. & # 39;
Large groups of people gather on Tynemouth Beach in North Tyneside tonight before Tier 4 restrictions go into effect across the Northeast at midnight
Tier 4 doesn't allow social mixing inside or outside of people outside of your household or support bubble
Ms. White added, “I feel hospitality, but nothing will change if drinking continues on the streets.
& # 39; There needs to be a full lockdown and there needs to be more financial support to businesses. I hope we are fine. We didn't push online at all during the first lockout, but we did really well during the second.
& # 39; Different types of businesses will emerge differently. If the bars and restaurants could be opened properly and safely with social distancing, it would be better for everyone. & # 39;
In the meantime, the return of secondary schools in January has been further delayed. Most students are now closed until at least January 18 – two weeks longer than originally planned – while testing systems are set up.
Hundreds of primaries in the areas with the highest infection will also not fully reopen as of Jan. 4, while secondary education will have to wait two weeks for the next review to see if they will have to remain closed indefinitely.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are already in the midst of their own gloom amid fears over the contagious "mutant" tribe that is in turmoil.