New Year’s Eve pub trips cancelled - Covid restrictions explained

Those wishing for a trip to the pub on New Year’s Eve will be left disappointed, as Covid restrictions will not be lifted for the end of the year celebrations.

Official government guidance released on 29 November has ruled out the extension of the Christmas bubbles to New Year’s Eve, saying: “You must follow the rules of where you can go and who you can meet, including New Year’s Eve.

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“Your Christmas bubble will no longer apply. Check the rules for your tier.”

These are the rules across the four nations regarding whether you can go to the pub on New Year’s Eve.


People in England looking for a traditional New Year’s Party will have to wait and see what tier system they are in by 30 December.

The government guidance advises people must follow the rules of their local area. The national lockdown that has been in place in England throughout November finishes on Wednesday.

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Those in Tier 2 or 3 will be able to go to a pub with people in their household as long as it is serving a substantial meal.

In Tier 3, which consists of around 23.3 million people, pubs and restaurants are closed except for takeaways.

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


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

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she does not expect a similar relaxing of the rules at New Year as there currently is for Christmas.

If the rules are not eased for Hogmany, Scots will have to adhere to the current protection levels in place by the Scottish Government. Currently no households are able to mix inside homes, except for those in the three island health boards.

In Level 2, people can meet with another household in a pub or restaurant, alcohol can be served with a main meal, and there is an 8pm curfew.

Under Level 3 restrictions, people can meet with another household in a pub or restaurant, alcohol cannot be served, and there is a 6pm curfew. Under Level 4, all hospitality venues are currently closed.

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Small outdoor celebrations may be possible, with Level 2, 3 and 4 able to meet one other household in a private garden or public place, up to six people.


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

Pubs, restaurants and cafes are currently open and a maximum of four people can meet indoors, unless they are from a single household.

Alcohol is being served in hospitality venues via table service only, and all drink and food must be consumed at the table.

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First Minister Mark Drakeford is set to announce new coronavirus rules for pubs, bars and restaurants in Wales, with one option being considered is the Level 3 system currently in place in Scotland.

This would mean alcohol sales are banned and venues have to close at 6pm.

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.