New Year’s Eve parties are off the table this year - the rules across the four nations

People looking to ring in 2021 with a big party will have to wait another year, as the UK Government has confirmed there will be no reprieve of the rules over New Year’s Eve.

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Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the nation has “got to be careful,” urging the public not to “blow it,” with the arrival of the vaccine.

‘We are not bringing in a special set of rules for new year’

During the news conference, member of the public, Kate from Dudley, asked, “New Year's Eve is a special time for some people, as much as Christmas, will we be able to spend it with our close family members?"

The Health Secretary replied, “The answer to the question is yes, if you live with them in your household. But we are not bringing in a special set of rules for new year as we have for Christmas.

"I know this has been such a tough year for so many of us - 2020 - so we’ve brought in the rules around Christmas to make sure people have that opportunity to be able to see members of their family who they haven’t been able to all year but we’ve got to be careful.

"So let’s not blow it, especially with the vaccine on the horizon.”

New Year rules across the four nations

England

The government guidance advises people must follow the rules of their local area.

Those in Tier 2 will be able to go to a pub with people in their household, as long as it is serving a substantial meal.

Those in Tier 3 must not meet people socially indoors for celebrations, and cannot socialise in a group of more than six people in some outdoor public spaces.

These rules must be followed in the final days of December after the Christmas bubble extension rules end on 27 December.

Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said there will be no extension of the relaxation of rules to cover New Year’s Eve.

She said, "I know New Year is special for people, perhaps slightly more so in Scotland than in other parts of the UK, but the virus is still there."

Currently all Hogmany events, including Edinburgh’s traditional street party, have been cancelled.

Wales

There are currently no plans to extend the easing of coronavirus restrictions for Christmas in Wales to New Year’s Eve.

Northern Ireland

There are no plans to extend the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland to New Year’s Eve.

On 27 November the country entered a further two weeks of restrictions ahead of the Christmas bubbles. Currently close contact business, non-essential retail, gyms, leisure facilities and places of worship have had to close.