Northern revellers were out in full force last night as they took advantage of the last weekend before the region is predicted to be plunged into even tougher Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Boris Johnson is expected to unveil a ‘three-tier’ lockdown system on Monday, which will see England carved into three levels of restrictions – with pubs, restaurants and leisure facilities shut in areas with the highest infection rates.
Those placed under the toughest restrictions are also expected to be told not to have any contact with people outside their household in any setting, an insider familiar with the proposals told Sky News.
This goes further than current rules in place across swathes of the North of England, where residents are currently able to meet other households outdoors – aside from in private gardens and pubs.
The mechanism for classifying ‘red’ zones are still unclear, but they are expected to cover Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle – three cities that have continued to see infection rises despite local lockdowns.
Last night, hundreds of drinkers were again undeterred by the nationwide 10pm curfew imposed on bars, pubs and restaurants amid the pandemic as they flocked to venues across Britain.
Young women were pictured posing in face masks and laughing with their friends as they strolled through Newcastle on Friday despite a rising number of Covid-19 cases in the city.
In London, Britons took the party to Leicester Square after pubs and bars closed due to the coronavirus restrictions – hours after Sadiq Khan warned tighter lockdown measures in the capital were ‘inevitable’.
The streets were also busy in Birmingham and Liverpool, which has been subject to localised rules on social mixing since last weekend as the city’s infection rate soared to almost 600 cases per 100,000 people.
Northern revellers were out in full force last night as they took advantage of the last weekend before the region is predicted to be plunged into even tougher Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Drinkers in Liverpool
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to formally unveil plans to split the country into three tiers of lockdown restrictions on Monday. Pictured: Revellers out in Newcastle last night
The infection rate in Newcastle has continued to soar – with 516.1 new cases per 100,000 people detected over the past week. Pictured: Drinkers in Newcastle
A reveller in Liverpool city centre enjoying the last weekend before Covid-19 restrictions are expected to force pubs and bars close in the area
Rowdy revellers banged on the doors of a McDonald’s restaurant in Newcastle demanding chicken after the eatery closed at 10pm on Friday
Crowds chanted ‘we want chicken’ outside the fast food branch, which closed early in line with safety measures introduced by Boris Johnson amid the Covid-19 pandemic
Footage from Newcastle last night has captured rowdy revellers banging on the doors of a McDonald’s restaurant demanding chicken after the eatery closed at 10pm.
Crowds chanted ‘we want chicken’ outside the fast food branch which had closed early in line with safety measures introduced by Mr Johnson amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the clip, taken minutes after the 10pm curfew, drunk revellers are seen gathering outside the takeaway and demanding to be served food.
In one moment, a man charges towards the doors before lifting his shirt and displaying his bare chest to staff inside the restaurant. He then begins to bang his fist on the doors and attempts to pry the entrance open as onlookers cheer him on.
Alongside the nationwide curfew, tougher rules on social mixing have also been introduced in the North East.
These measures currently ban locals from socialising with people outside their household and ‘support bubble’ in private homes and indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.
Anyone found to be in breach of these rules could be dispersed by police and fined £200, which would double for each offence up to a maximum of £6,400.
But despite the introduction of these rules last month, the infection rate in Newcastle has continued to soar – with 516.1 new cases per 100,000 people detected over the past week.
Footage taken minutes after the 10pm curfew came into force shows drunk revellers gathering outside the takeaway and demanding to be served food
In one moment, a man charges towards the doors before lifting his shirt and displaying his bare chest to staff inside the restaurant
He then begins to bang his fist on the doors and attempts to pry the entrance open as onlookers cheer him on
Hundreds of young people were again undeterred by the nationwide curfew imposed on bars, pubs and restaurants as they flocked to the city centre on Friday
Women were pictured posing in face masks and laughing with their friends as they strolled through Newcastle on Friday – despite a rising number of Covid-19 cases in the city
Alongside the nationwide curfew, tougher rules on social mixing have also been introduced in the North East. Pictured: Young women in Newcastle last night
Local rules ban those in Newcastle from socialising with people outside their households and ‘support bubbles’ in private homes and indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants
The latest figures mean Newcastle has the fifth-highest rate of Covid-19 in the UK.
Professor Eugene Milne, the director of public health for Newcastle, told the Newcastle Chronicle that despite growing infection rates in the city, the current restrictions appear to be succeeding in curtailing spread of the virus.
He said: ‘We appear to have curtailed, at the moment, the rise in Covid in the city and we are still in a position of relative protection of the oldest and most vulnerable age group.
‘On the basis of the data that I have shown you, I think there is some evidence that it seems to have curtailed the rise in cases.
‘I would focus our efforts on containing that large outbreak among university students and making sure they are properly protected, their welfare is addressed, and we prevent any spread from that into the rest of the city.’
He explained there are two ‘quite distinct’ Covid-19 outbreaks in Newcastle: the spread among the general population and a rapid but ‘still containable’ rise among students.
Newcastle University confirmed on Thursday that 1,003 new coronavirus cases had been detected in students and 12 in staff between October 1 and 7.
Another 619 cases among students were confirmed by Northumbria University.
Anyone found to be breaking these rules could be dispersed by police and fined £200, which would then double for each offence up to a maximum of £6,400
Despite the introduction of these rules last month, the infection rate in Newcastle has continued to soar – with 516.1 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week
Swathes of the North of England, including Manchester and Liverpool, could be placed immediately into the tier with the most severe restrictions, so pubs and restaurants would have to shut their doors. Pictured: Revellers out in Newcastle tonight
Public Health England data on outbreaks conflicts with that from NHS Test & Trace and shows that more coronavirus outbreaks are linked to schools and offices than to pubs and restaurants
Revellers leave the pubs after closing time in Liverpool city centre this evening enjoying the last weekend before COVID restrictions force pubs and bars close in the area
Britons queue up in Liverpool city centre as they enjoy the last weekend before Covid restrictions force pubs and bars close in the area
Those in Birmingham city centre enjoy possibly the last Friday out before Boris’ three-tier lockdown system is introduced. Birmingham is in a third tier zone and is expected to be landed with forced closures of pubs bars and restaurants
Britain recorded 13,864 new coronavirus cases in just 24 hours. Pictured: Revellers in Liverpool enjoying the last weekend before COVID restrictions force pubs and bars close in the area
The Prime Minister will spend the weekend finalising local measures to be announced on Monday that could see pubs and restaurants ordered to shut in large parts of the North of England. Pictured: Revellers in Liverpool this evening
People leave Carnaby Street, London, after the 10pm curfew that pubs and restaurants are subject to in order to combat the rise in coronavirus cases as it emerges the Prime Minister will introduce new restrictions on Monday
It comes as the Prime Minister is expected to make a Commons statement on Monday setting out an anticipated ‘three tier’ approach to coronavirus outbreak restrictions.
In a letter to MPs, the Mr Johnson’s chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister said ‘rising incidence’ of Covid in parts of the country mean it is ‘very likely’ that certain areas will face ‘further restrictions’.
He added that Mr Johnson believed local leaders should ‘help shape the package of measures in the most concerning areas’. The Government will discuss ‘difficult choices’ with local leaders, it was said.
Britain’s daily coronavirus case count dropped last night to 13,864 from more than 17,000 on Thursday and official estimates of the R rate suggest the outbreak may be slowing in a ray of hope for the UK’s second wave.
But a hat-trick of reports warn the country is still on a precipice with up to 45,000 people catching it every day and fears the outbreak is ‘getting out of control’.
Moment revellers spill onto the streets and crowds party in Leicester Square as pubs and bars close at 10pm under Covid restrictions – amid warnings from Sadiq Khan that London will be put under ‘inevitable’ lockdown
By Luke May for MailOnline
Footage has captured revellers spilling out onto the streets and partying in Leicester Square after pubs and bars nearby closed as part of the 10pm Covid-19 curfew.
Crowds were seen gathering in the Capital just hours after Sadiq Khan said tighter lockdown measures were ‘inevitable’.
Footage taken last night showed groups of men and women dancing outside the Global radio company, which is based in Leicester Square.
Revellers could be heard singing along to music as they gathered around a busker playing the drums.
Despite bars and pubs being forced to close at 10pm, music could be heard playing through a speaker – gaining the attention of visitors to the London landmark.
Crowds spilling out from pubs and bars near Leicester Square were seen gathering on Friday night, paying no heed toward social distancing
Two police officers can be seen circling the crowd before wading in, to be met with boos and jeers from the crowd.
Moments later the two officers are seen walking away.
Shocked viewers on Twitter asked: ‘When will people realise they’re making things worse?’
The scenes in Leicester Square came just hours after Sadiq Khan warned tougher lockdown measures in London are ‘inevitable’ as data revealed that Richmond-upon-Thames has become the capital’s new Covid-19 hotspot.
Two police officers can be seen to the left of the crowd, they were met with boos after trying to interrupt the crowd
Within seconds of approaching the crowd, both officers could be seen walking away, met with cheers from some of the crowd – just hours after Sadiq Khan said London-wide lockdown measures were ‘inevitable’
The London Mayor said any new restrictions would be imposed city-wide rather than borough-by-borough because ‘it’s the most effective way to reduce the spread of this virus’.
Mr Khan said his best guess was that London would be hit with new rules sometime next week when the Government officially unveils its three-tier traffic light system for local lockdowns.
He warned it was important to curtail the virus’s spread in the city before the pandemic gets to levels ‘we saw in March and April’.
Sadiq Khan said his best guess was that London would be hit with new rules sometime next week
London’s rate of Covid-19 infection is lower than most parts of the UK, but continues to rise
But figures show London’s infection rate is just 59 per 100,000 people, which is the same as it is UK-wide and a fraction of the rates seen in hotspots in the North, where it’s as high as 550 per 100,000.
Mr Khan told LBC Radio today: ‘My prediction is there will be more restrictions being brought in because we don’t want to see in October and November what we saw in March and April.
‘What’s clear to me is that it’s inevitable there will be additional restrictions in London. What we are discussing as ‘One London’ is what we think the right level should be and work with government to make sure we have the right level there.’
Richmond-upon-Thames is London’s new Covid-19 hotspot, data has revealed amid fears the capital’s outbreak is just four weeks behind the troubled North West. Pictured are infection rates in London in the week to October 5
Infection rates appear to be rising all over London, reaching higher levels in the west. Pictured are infection rates in London in the week to September 28
For the first part of the pandemic, poorer parts of London, such as Newham and Brent, were hit worse by Covid-19, which scientists believe may be down to residents living in crowded homes where the disease spreads and being key workers, meaning they couldn’t shelter at home.
But now, Covid-19 is now hitting the wealthier boroughs of London, with Westminster, Wandsworth, Bromley and Hammersmith and Fulham all now seeing infection rates well above 50 per 100,000.
A statistical report published by the Government last month revealed coronavirus infections are soaring twice as quickly in the most well-off districts of England – particularly in white, wealthy under 35s.
London’s outbreak as a whole now shows signs of speeding up with the crisis in the North West, the worst affected part of England where cities Manchester and Liverpool and Blackpool are now battling some of the biggest Covid-19 outbreaks.
HOW FAR BEHIND IS LONDON FROM THE NORTH WEST?
The data shows how the infection rate in London and the North West have increased each week between July 5 and October 4.