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Guildford drinkers enjoy their last night in Tier 2


Drinkers started a less-than-typical crazy Friday tonight, with those under stricter lockdown restrictions making the most of their last night of freedom – while the streets in normally busy Tier 3 cities were mostly deserted.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday slammed numerous counties into the top tier of coronavirus restrictions, with 70 percent of England set to be subject to the strictest rules from tomorrow.

These areas include Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, all of Hertfordshire, Surrey with the exception of Waverley, Hastings and Rother on the Kent border between East Sussex, Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire.

As part of the measures, people are not allowed to socialize indoors, including in places such as pubs and restaurants, with anyone outside their support bubble or from another household.

Those in Guildford made the most of their last moments in Tier 2 tonight when the British looked into bars and restaurants on the last Friday before Christmas. The city will switch from high alert to very alert at midnight along with the majority of Surrey.

Elsewhere, London streets were largely deserted on a normally busy Christmas night night after Tier 3 restrictions went into effect on Wednesday closing bars and restaurants.

There were similar scenes in Cardiff, which is under level 3 alert of the Welsh four-tier system. This means that eateries in town close at 6 p.m. and nightclubs and theaters are closed.

Pictured: Revelers make their way to York on Friday after it was revealed the city is still subject to Tier 2 restrictions

In York, which will also remain in Tier 2 ahead of a December 30 restriction review, party-goers donned festive attire when trying to dress up for an evening on Friday

In York, which will also remain in Tier 2 ahead of a December 30 restriction review, party-goers donned festive attire when trying to dress up for an evening on Friday

Home Counties drinkers started their last night tonight before Tier 3 restrictions were imposed at midnight - when York took to the streets again after it was confirmed the city would remain under loose lockdown rules. Pictured: Guildford Tonight

Home Counties drinkers started their last night tonight before Tier 3 restrictions were imposed at midnight – when York took to the streets again after it was confirmed the city would remain under loose lockdown rules. Pictured: Guildford Tonight

Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday put numerous counties on "high alert" of coronavirus restrictions amid the rising number of infections across the UK, with 70 percent of England facing the toughest rules from tomorrow

Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday put numerous counties on "high alert" of coronavirus restrictions amid the rising number of infections across the UK, with 70 percent of England facing the toughest rules from tomorrow

Those at Guildford tonight made the most of their final moments of freedom. The British went to bars and restaurants with their friends and family. The city will move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 along with the majority of Surrey at midnight

Those at Guildford tonight made the most of their final moments of freedom. The British went to bars and restaurants with their friends and family. The city will move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 along with the majority of Surrey at midnight

Pictured: Those in Guildford enjoy one final night of drinking before the majority of Surrey enter Tier 3 at midnight tonight

Pictured: Those in Guildford enjoy one final night of drinking before the majority of Surrey enter Tier 3 at midnight tonight

Swathes of the Home Counties will be coming to London tomorrow in the highest tier, while Manchester and the North East have been told that despite fewer cases, they cannot descend class

Swathes of the Home Counties will be coming to London tomorrow in the highest tier, while Manchester and the North East have been told that despite fewer cases, they cannot descend class

Liverpool revelers lined up in the rain to enter clubs tonight after it was confirmed Thursday that the city would remain under Tier 2 restrictions for another fortnight. The Liverpool City Region has avoided a surge in coronavirus infections since national lockdown restrictions were relaxed on December 2nd.

And in York, which will also stay in Tier 2 before a re-examination of restrictions on December 30th, partygoers donned festive attire as they undressed for an evening on the last Friday before Christmas.

The Department of Health recorded 28,507 new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, a third more than 21,672 last Friday, and 489 deaths, up 14 percent from a week ago.

SAGE now estimates the Covid R rate – the average number of other people infected with the disease by each person – in the UK between 1.1 and 1.2. It is the first time since the first week of national lockdown last month that the reproduction count is definitely above the all-important mark.

The Department of Health recorded 28,507 new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, a third more than 21,672 last Friday, and 489 deaths, up 14 percent from a week ago. Pictured: York Tonight

The Department of Health recorded 28,507 new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, a third more than 21,672 last Friday, and 489 deaths, up 14 percent from a week ago. Pictured: York Tonight

There were similar scenes in Liverpool (pictured) where revelers lined up in the rain to enter clubs after it was confirmed that the city would remain under Tier 2 restrictions for another fortnight

There were similar scenes in Liverpool (pictured) where revelers lined up in the rain to enter clubs after it was confirmed that the city would remain under Tier 2 restrictions for another fortnight

The Liverpool City Region has avoided a surge in coronavirus infections since national lockdown restrictions were relaxed on December 2nd

The Liverpool City Region has avoided a surge in coronavirus infections since national lockdown restrictions were relaxed on December 2nd

Pictured: People are drinking in the rain tonight in Windsor before new Tier 3 restrictions go into effect at midnight tonight

Pictured: People are drinking in the rain tonight in Windsor before new Tier 3 restrictions go into effect at midnight tonight

SAGE now estimates that the Covid R rate - the average number of other people infected with the disease by each person - is between 1.1 and 1.2 in the UK. Pictured: Windsor tonight

SAGE now estimates that the Covid R rate – the average number of other people infected with the disease by each person – is between 1.1 and 1.2 in the UK. Pictured: Windsor tonight

Pictured: Brits wait in the rain to enter a pub in Windsor, Berkshire after it was announced that the town would be entered Tier 3

Pictured: Brits wait in the rain to enter a pub in Windsor, Berkshire after it was announced that the town would be entered Tier 3

In England the rate is even higher, between 1.1 and 1.3, while experts warned it could be 1.4 in the east and 1.3 in London and the south-east. Last week, the UK R number – which doesn't represent today's breakout – was between 0.9 and 1.

London was brought under Tier 3 rules on Wednesday after Mr Hancock told a briefing on Downing Street that measures needed to be taken to slow "sharp, exponential increases" in infection rates.

The streets of the capital were largely deserted this evening, with "Sorry we're closed" signs on the doors of typically busy Soho venues.

The Met Police have vowed to crack down on anti-lockdown protests in London on the last weekend before Christmas, as organizers claim, "many thousands" will be demonstrating in Parliament Square tomorrow.

The force said additional officials will be on the capital's streets to encourage compliance with strict Tier 3 Covid-19 regulations and "act quickly against those who deliberately and dangerously ignore them".

London was brought under Tier 3 rules on Wednesday after Mr Hancock told a briefing on Downing Street that measures needed to be taken to slow "sharp, exponential increases" in infection rates. Pictured: Soho tonight

London was brought under Tier 3 rules on Wednesday after Mr Hancock told a briefing on Downing Street that measures needed to be taken to slow "sharp, exponential increases" in infection rates. Pictured: Soho tonight

The Met Police have vowed to crack down on anti-lockdown protests in London on the last weekend before Christmas, as organizers claim, "many thousands" will be demonstrating in Parliament Square tomorrow. Pictured: Soho tonight

The Met Police have vowed to crack down on anti-lockdown protests in London on the last weekend before Christmas, as organizers claim, "many thousands" will be demonstrating in Parliament Square tomorrow. Pictured: Soho tonight

The force said additional officials will be on the capital's streets to encourage compliance with strict Tier 3 Covid-19 regulations and "act quickly against those who deliberately and dangerously ignore them".

The force said additional officials will be on the capital's streets to encourage compliance with strict Tier 3 Covid-19 regulations and "act quickly against those who deliberately and dangerously ignore them".

Pictured: The Cardiff scene tonight on the last Friday before Christmas when thousands typically take to the streets

Pictured: The Cardiff scene tonight on the last Friday before Christmas when thousands typically take to the streets

What are the Tier 3 rules?

  • Indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, theaters and bowling alleys must be closed.
  • Pubs, restaurants and cafes must be closed except for takeout.
  • Shops, hairdressers and salons can remain open;
  • Groups of six people are only allowed to meet outdoors.
  • Crowds at live events are prohibited.
  • People should avoid traveling into or out of Tier 3 areas unless it is inevitable.
  • People from separate households cannot meet inside and the rule of six applies outside.

Scotland Yard released an open letter posted on the Met Police website before the demonstration is expected tomorrow. More are also planned in England

The force urged people not to attend a large gathering and warned them that if they do so, they are at risk of committing a crime.

Gathering more than six people outdoors is illegal under coronavirus rules, although there is a list of exceptions that includes protests where all relevant safety precautions have been taken.

The Police Federation, which represents ordinary civil servants in England and Wales, wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel earlier this week highlighting the health risks to these police protests.

National chairman John Apter and Met Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh described the Christmas visit, combined with a mass demonstration, as a potentially "deadly and unmanageable mixture".

The Met said the force will focus on disrupting large gatherings, adding that protest organizers must adhere to government regulations as well as their submitted risk assessment.

Deputy Deputy Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: “If we become aware of scheduled events that are in breach of regulations, we will try to work with organizers or venues to make them aware of the restrictions on people's safety in force.

“However, if people don't take our advice and don't follow the rules, we will be forced to take enforcement action.

“With infection rates rising rapidly in the capital, we must all do our part to prevent the virus from spreading.

& # 39; This is the last weekend before Christmas, so now is not the time for complacency.

“I know Londoners know what to do and what not to do, and I urge everyone to act sensibly and do their part to keep our city safe.

“Following the guidelines that were put in place to keep us all safe and healthy is more important than ever.

A closed Queens Vaults pub on Westgate Street in Cardiff, Wales, this evening. There is a two-household limit from December 23-27 and three in the rest of the UK

A closed Queens Vaults pub on Westgate Street in Cardiff, Wales, this evening. There is a two-household limit from December 23-27 and three in the rest of the UK

The streets in Cardiff, which is on alert level 3 of the Welsh four-level system, were empty tonight. This means that eateries in town close at 6 p.m. and nightclubs and theaters are closed

The streets in Cardiff, which is on alert level 3 of the Welsh four-level system, were empty tonight. This means that eateries in town close at 6 p.m. and nightclubs and theaters are closed

Pictured: Empty tables in a Cardiff venue, one of the busiest nights of the year for drinkers

Pictured: Empty tables in a Cardiff venue, one of the busiest nights of the year for drinkers

A man is walking down a quiet high street in Cardiff tonight as the British choose to stay home due to the coronavirus crisis

A man is walking down a quiet high street in Cardiff tonight as the British choose to stay home due to the coronavirus crisis

The last Friday before Christmas is known as Mad Friday and it usually occurs when Christmas parties are held in cities

The last Friday before Christmas is known as Mad Friday and it usually occurs when Christmas parties are held in cities

"This weekend we're going to make sure we get involved with the activities of a few so as not to put our communities at greater risk during this pandemic."

About 11 people were arrested after a demonstration by around 200 protesters in London's Parliament Square on Monday for suspected crimes such as breaching Covid-19 rules, breaching public order and assaulting a rescue worker.

During the second national lockdown in late November, more than 150 people were arrested when activists marched from Hyde Park to Oxford Circus and Regent Street and clashed with police.

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