21.09.2020

ALEX FROM MONTREAL PERSONAL BLOG

This blog belongs to a fully trilingual person and translator/interpreter Alexandre (Alex) Nikolaev.

Drinkers ignore warning that UK is ‘losing control of Covid’

HIT THE TOWN

as they hit bars on last Saturday before ‘Rule of 6’ rules

  • 12 Sep 2020

DRINKERS have ignored a warning that the UK is “losing control of Covid” as they hit the bars on the last Saturday before new lockdown rules come into effect.

Groups of friends crammed into pubs and restaurants to “go out in style” before the “rule of six” is enforced on Monday.

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 Drinkers out in London's West End before new lockdown restrictions on Monday
Drinkers out in London’s West End before new lockdown restrictions on MondayCredit: PA:Press Association
 Crowds gathered in London's West End last night
Crowds gathered in London’s West End last nightCredit: PA:Press Association

 Groups headed out for a night out in Leeds
Groups headed out for a night out in LeedsCredit: NB PRESS LTD
 Drinkers enjoyed a night out in Soho in central London
Drinkers enjoyed a night out in Soho in central LondonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
 Pals let their hair down for one last hoorah in Cardiff
Pals let their hair down for one last hoorah in CardiffCredit: Huw Evans Picture Agency
 The rule will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply, doubling on each offence up to a maximum of £3,200
The rule will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply, doubling on each offence up to a maximum of £3,200Credit: EPA
 The measures include the introduction of "Covid-secure marshals", to help ensure social distancing in town and city centres
The measures include the introduction of “Covid-secure marshals”, to help ensure social distancing in town and city centresCredit: EPA
 Police officers were on the streets in Nottingham on Saturday night
Police officers were on the streets in Nottingham on Saturday nightCredit: ©Ashley Kirk
 Groups of drinkers hit the town in Nottingham for one last night out before new lockdown measures
Groups of drinkers hit the town in Nottingham for one last night out before new lockdown measuresCredit: ©Ashley Kirk
 Large groups gathered in central London on Saturday night
Large groups gathered in central London on Saturday nightCredit: EPA
 Cops tried to keep large groups in order in Newcastle
Cops tried to keep large groups in order in NewcastleCredit: North News and Pictures
 Groups of pals enjoyed one last night together before the crackdown on Monday
Groups of pals enjoyed one last night together before the crackdown on MondayCredit: North News and Pictures
 Groups gathered in Brighton earlier in the day to make the most of the sunshine
Groups gathered in Brighton earlier in the day to make the most of the sunshineCredit: PA:Press Association

Daily infections yesterday stood at 3,497 — double the 1,813 positive tests announced just a week ago and the highest Saturday rise since May.

Groups of pals headed out to city centres across the country, with huge queues pictured outside overcrowded pubs and bars.

Revellers partied into the early hours in Cardiff, Sheffield and Birmingham, while police were on the streets of Nottingham, Newcastle and London to keep things under control.

Large groups of drinkers also gathered at seafront bars in Brighton to make the most of the September sunshine before heading out on the town.

One group of young men had hired a minibus to travel into the seaside resort from Guildford, Surrey with the aim of getting together for one last hurrah.

One of the men, Owain, 24, said: “This new rule means we’re not going be able to go out for ages together as a group. It might even be after Christmas before we see each other again so we wanted to go out in style.”

Jamie Rylance, who was with a group of 10, said: “I’ve come out with a few friends for a last drink or two because you never know what this government is going to do next.

“I got caught up with the Spain quarantine so I’ve been stuck indoors for a fortnight. The problem is that everyone has got bored with it and people are no longer wearing masks and social distancing anymore. It is worrying but what can you do?”

Police have dispersed a number of illegal gatherings overnight as revellers make the most of the final weekend before the “rule of six” coronavirus restriction comes into force.

Greater Manchester Police said they closed down illegal gatherings at properties in Altrincham and Flixton on Saturday night, as well as a large gathering of around 70 people in Mottram.

Fixed penalty notices were issued at each of the incidents as current rules only allow groups of up to 30 to meet.

The interventions came just hours after officers attended a gathering at an address in Stockport which had 45 people in attendance, and another address in north Manchester which they had been called to on two previous occasions.

Another group of 15 young friends met for a pub crawl and said they were looking for to a “blow out”.
Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire Police issued a teen a £10,000 fine for hosting a house party in Lenton, which saw more than 50 guests gather at the address.

From Monday, the law change in England will ban more than six people meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors – dubbed the “rule of six”.

It will not apply to schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports.

The rule will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply, doubling on each offence up to a maximum of £3,200.

 Birmingham was heaving with youngsters who waited outside bars and restaurants
Birmingham was heaving with youngsters who waited outside bars and restaurantsCredit: SnapperSK
 The city was packed with crowds queuing to get in
The city was packed with crowds queuing to get inCredit: SnapperSK
 Pals ended the night with a bite to eat
Pals ended the night with a bite to eatCredit: SnapperSK
 One woman tried on a coppers hat on Birmingham's Broad Street as he asked for it back
One woman tried on a coppers hat on Birmingham’s Broad Street as he asked for it backCredit: SnapperSK
 Revellers made the most of the weekend on West Street in Sheffield
Revellers made the most of the weekend on West Street in SheffieldCredit: London News Pictures
 These ladies in Sheffield got together for one last knees up before Monday's restrictions
These ladies in Sheffield got together for one last knees up before Monday’s restrictionsCredit: London News Pictures
 While revellers partied into the early hours in Leeds
While revellers partied into the early hours in LeedsCredit: NB PRESS LTD
 Party-goers let their hair down in the city for one last hoorah before Monday
Party-goers let their hair down in the city for one last hoorah before MondayCredit: NB PRESS LTD
 Pals hit the town in Cardiff
Pals hit the town in CardiffCredit: Wales News Service
 This woman helped a pal get through the city centre with a piggy back
This woman helped a pal get through the city centre with a piggy backCredit: Wales News Service
 Others shed their shoes after hours on the town
Others shed their shoes after hours on the townCredit: Wales News Service
 Dancing broke out in Soho in central London
Dancing broke out in Soho in central LondonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
 Friends in Blackpool enjoy a drink on Saturday night
Friends in Blackpool enjoy a drink on Saturday night
 Pubs were packed in London's West End
Pubs were packed in London’s West EndCredit: PA:Press Association
 Groups also gathered in Cardiff before the new rules on Monday
Groups also gathered in Cardiff before the new rules on MondayCredit: Wales News Service
 Crowds descended on Nottingham for one last blow out
Crowds descended on Nottingham for one last blow outCredit: ©Ashley Kirk
 A group of friends were out in Nottingham where long queues were seen outside of bars
A group of friends were out in Nottingham where long queues were seen outside of barsCredit: ©Ashley Kirk
 Friends went out for a drink on Saturday in Brighton
Friends went out for a drink on Saturday in BrightonCredit: PA:Press Association
 Busy restaurants in London last night
Busy restaurants in London last nightCredit: PA:Press Association

The measures include the introduction of “Covid-secure marshals”, to help ensure social distancing in town and city centres.

It comes as coronavirus cases in the over-50s surged by 92 per cent.

And ex-chief scientific adviser and Scientific Advisory Group member, Sir Mark Walport, warned: “I think one would have to say that we’re on the edge of losing control.”

He told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The short answer is the only way to stop the spread of this infection is to reduce the number of people we all come into contact with, that lowers the risk.

“It’s a very very fine balancing act, it’s very important to get youngsters back to school, people to university, but it means we’re going to have to hold back our contacts in other areas.”

Groups of friends gathered across UK cities in what might be their last night out as a crew for weeks.

On Wednesday the PM announced new restrictions in a bid to stop coronavirus‘ alarming spread — after Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty revealed infections were soaring among the young.

He warned that people flouting the clampdown — including bans on social gatherings of more than six — could even be arrested.

‘WORRYING’ RISE IN CASES

In his first press conference since July, the PM announced moves to ramp up enforcement of the tough rules to make sure everyone is following them – or they risk being slapped with fines of at least £100.

And now Brits will face whopping fines for breaking self-isolation rules as part of new plans to halt the surge in coronavirus cases.

Mr Johnson is drawing up new plans to enforce the strict measures amid fears people are ignoring advice.

Medical experts warned that a second spike in coronavirus was being fuelled by young people failing to follow the rules on social distancing and hygiene.

In a concerning development, infections have surged among middle-aged Brits – as cases in over-50s rocketed by 92 per cent last week.

Senior government officials have said the rise in cases in higher risk groups is “worrying” as Downing Street looks to stem the spread of the bug heading into the winter.

The PM apologised for having to take such measures, and said it “breaks my heart” to have to stop families from being able to see each other.

He said: “I wish that we did not have to take this step. But as your Prime Minister, I must do what is necessary to stop the spread of the virus and save lives.”

And he promised he will only keep the strict rules in place “as long as necessary”, but said it was “just too early to say” how long they will be need to stay for.

CHRISTMAS UNDER THREAT

It means that grandparents and grandchildren may not be able to spend Christmas together if the rules stay in place until then.

On Wednesday Matt Hancock admitted the new lockdown rules banning groups of more than six could be still in place at Christmas – but he hoped for them to be scrapped by then.

Mr Hancock was asked on Radio 1’s Newsbeat if the rules will still be in place for Christmas.

And he replied: “Potentially beyond. I’d like to be able to relax them before Christmas, obviously…”
He was then asked if that would mean families couldn’t celebrate together as usual.

SIX PACK

New coronavirus ‘rule of six’ explained: What you can and can’t do from tomorrow

The Health Secretary replied: “not necessarily and this is one of the problems of the virus.”

Mr Hancock added on BBC Radio 4: “I really hope we can turn this around before Christmas.

“We clearly need to act.”

 Groups of revellers spilled out of bars in Newcastle
Groups of revellers spilled out of bars in NewcastleCredit: North News and Pictures
 Friends singing in London last night
Friends singing in London last nightCredit: PA:Press Association
 A group of friends went out in Nottingham before the new restrictions come into effect on Monday
A group of friends went out in Nottingham before the new restrictions come into effect on Monday Credit: ©Ashley Kirk
 Many finished the night with a bite to eat in Caroline Street, Cardiff
Many finished the night with a bite to eat in Caroline Street, CardiffCredit: Wales News Service
 Meetings of groups bigger than six will be banned from Monday
Meetings of groups bigger than six will be banned from MondayCredit: ©Ashley Kirk

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