Business News Live Business

COVID restrictions will result in thousands of illegal New Years parties, warns NTIA

By | Published on Monday 14 December 2020

Night Time Industries Association

The Night Time Industries Association has estimated that 5000 illegal parties will take place in the UK over the New Year weekend, potentially sparking another surge in COVID infections. It follows confirmation that, while COVID regulations in England will be relaxed around Christmas, the same will not happen for New Year. Which means that night-time businesses in those parts of England where they are currently allowed to operate will still have to close at 11pm on New Year’s Eve.

NTIA boss Michael Kill says that the government needs to give more consideration to the impact those restrictions will have over the New Year weekend. “There is a growing concern that New Year’s Eve is going to culminate in social unrest and will see a substantial number of illegal parties and mass gatherings following the closure of businesses at 11pm, with a real risk of overwhelming the police and emergency services”, he said on Friday.

“We are estimating that the UK will be witness to over 5000 illegal parties across New Year’s Eve weekend”, he went on. “The government needs to consider ways in which to manage this grave situation. People will want to celebrate the end of 2020 in their own way, ignoring the issue will not resolve what will be a significant car crash in every sense of the term”.

He concluded: “The volume of people being pushed out onto the street following the 11pm close, one hour before NYE celebrations begin, will become counterproductive and we will see the impact of this in January 2021. There needs to be some consideration given to the current restrictions on NYE, and a unified message, urging people to consider the impact of their actions”.

Kill’s statement was backed up by promoter Sacha Lord, who is also night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, and who said: “The closure of hospitality venues in tier three [regions], combined with the 11pm curfew elsewhere, only serves to encourage house parties and outdoor gatherings, and it’s inevitable we will see an increase of these on New Year’s Eve. I urge all those considering hosting or attending a gathering to think about those around them who may be vulnerable to COVID-19, and to put their health and safety first”.