Brits facing Tier 4 lockdown head to the pub for last night of freedom

Revellers made the most of their last chance of a drink at bars and pubs in parts of England on Wednesday night.

Following Health Secretary, Matt Hancock's House of Commons announcement of more areas moving into Tier 3 and 4, only punters on the Scilly Isles can enjoy their local boozer.

Warnings issued by NHS chiefs about the need to stay at home were ignored one last time before party-goers have nowhere to go.

Instead, news of closing venues made for the perfect excuse for some to put on their finest frocks and party outfits in Liverpool, Tyneside and Devon.

Speaking at Wednesday night's press conference Prof Powis said: "We know it's the end of the year, it's a time where people traditionally want to celebrate.

"But it is absolutely vital that this year, everybody continues to follow the guidance by staying at home and not mixing.

"We can all play a part in fighting this terrible virus. Stay at home. Mark the New Year with just your nearest and dearest."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson echoed the expert's caution, he said: "I must ask you to follow the rules where you live tomorrow night and see in the New Year safely at home.

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"That means not meeting up with friends or family indoors, unless they are in the same household or support bubble, and avoiding large gatherings of any kind."

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van Tam added: "Unfortunately it’s a pretty grim and depressing picture at the moment."

"It is almost certainly true that the NHS has not yet seen the impact of infections that will have occurred on Christmas Day.

"You have just got to play your part now in bringing us back from this very dangerous situation that we find ourselves in."

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Like restaurants, pubs will still be allowed to serve takeaways for food and drink in accordance with Tier 3 and 4 rules.

Anyone missing a pint from the tap at their local you must order online beforehand – if it is offering click and collect services – and leave the premises before their first sip.

Pressure has mounted on the Government to act as hospitals warned of increasing strains on services due to Covid-19 patient numbers.

Millions more in England must follow government instruction to "Stay at Home" after the UK recorded its highest ever figure of 53,135 new coronavirus cases.

Figures from NHS England showed there were 21,787 patients in NHS hospitals in England as of 8am on Tuesday, compared with 20,426 on Monday, and 18,974 at the first wave peak on April 12.

Five of the seven NHS regions in England are currently reporting a record number of Covid-19 hospital patients: Eastern England, London, the Midlands, south-east England and south-west England.

The other two regions, north-east and north-west England, remain below peak levels that were set in mid-November.

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