BRITS hit the town to enjoy some festive fun after they were told to choose their social events carefully by a gloomy Chris Witty.
Despite the Chief Medical Officer calling for limits on meeting friends, sozzled revellers decided a night out on the town was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Streets were quiet around the UK but some partygoers in the North of England went out in style, despite concerns of Omicron affecting them this Christmas.
Cheery revellers were snapped in Newcastle and Leeds, getting into the festive spirit with Santa Clause costumes and Christmas hats.
With a new high of 88,376 daily infections, many punters were asked to choose between partying or keeping loved ones safe from Omicron.
The Government said it will hit its target of a million booster jabs a day by the weekend, and the PM has also said they will not be any more restrictions enforced ahead of the big day.
Mr Johnson once more banged the drum for the booster drive and praised volunteers like those signing up to The Sun’s Jabs Army.
尽管如此, gloomy Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty called for limits on meeting friends on Wednesday, contrasting with the statement released by the PM.
And it means millions have to weigh up a pint with pals — or Christmas at home with the in-laws in eight days’ time, as anyone who now tests positive will need to isolate on Christmas Day.
There were signs Brits had declared a self-lockdown as towns and cities fell silent over the past few days as millions worked from home, roads were emptied and public transport passenger numbers down.
But some are determined to party on while they can. Brits could sink ten million pints for tonight’s “Black Eye Friday” — the last big night out before Christmas.
The night of fun came just days after Plan B Covid restrictions came into force across the country, including face masks on public transport and work from home guidance.
People in England will need to show their Covid status to get into nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 人们, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 人们, and any venue with more than 10,000 人们.
Despite concerns that Covid Omicron infection rates could be doubled in the next few days, many are choosing to still enjoy their social lives.
Oil rig worker Greg Wilson, 50, of Norfolk, 说: “All I’d say to Mr Whitty is, he should try having Christmas with my family.
“I’d feel a lot happier and safer in the pub with my mates.”
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Around two million people could be self-isolating by Christmas Day if infection rates continue.
Fifteen people are in hospital with the variant, but Prof Whitty warned the true figure will be much bigger.
Tories yesterday accused the Chief Medical Officer of forcing England into an “effective lockdown”.
Former minister Steve Brine said in the Commons: “There was no new policy announced then Professor Whitty answered a question from the BBC and at a stroke changed Government policy and put this country, certainly hospitality… into effective lockdown.”
Tory MP Joy Morrissey accused Prof Whitty of turning England into a “public health socialist state”. She later deleted the Twitter outburst.
Boris Johnson denied imposing a lockdown “by stealth”, 说: “If you want to go to an event or a party, then the sensible thing to do is get a test and to make sure that you are being cautious. We are not saying that we want to cancel stuff.”
But pubs and restaurants have already closed early. Many have faced cancellations while staff have caught Covid and had to isolate.
The British Beer and Pub Association said boozers will sell 37million fewer pints, worth £297million in trade this year. Chancellor Rishi Sunak flew back early from California for crisis talks with hospitality chiefs desperate for a bailout.