London will still enjoy a televised New Year’s Eve fireworks display featuring music from Elton John and Dua Lipa

The annual bonanza organised by the Mayor of London usually takes place on the Victoria Embankment by Big Ben, but was officially axed for a second year running due to concerns over the Omicron variant. 

However, a display will now go ahead at a variety of London locations and be screened live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Members of the public are not invited to attend the display in person, and all music will be pre-recorded. 

The annual display organised by the Mayor of London usually takes place on the Victoria Embankment by Big Ben. Pictured is the last display in 2020  

AUSTRALIA: New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House on the stroke of midnight to mark the arrival of 2022

AUSTRALIA: New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House on the stroke of midnight to mark the arrival of 2022

AUSTRALIA: New Year’s Eve fireworks erupt over Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House on the stroke of midnight to mark the arrival of 2022

NEW ZEALAND: A light show from the Skytower and harbour bridge in Auckland kicked off New Year's Eve celebrations in New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND: A light show from the Skytower and harbour bridge in Auckland kicked off New Year's Eve celebrations in New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND: A light show from the Skytower and harbour bridge in Auckland kicked off New Year’s Eve celebrations in New Zealand

Mr Khan announced in October that the traditional display, which would have drawn hundreds of thousands of people to Victoria Embankment, had been called off, blaming Covid ‘uncertainty’. 

Health Secretary Sajid Javid criticised the decision, saying there was ‘no reason’ the annual tradition could not go ahead after the government gave the go ahead for NYE gatherings.  

The Tory told LBC: ‘Obviously that’s a decision for the Mayor, but from my point of view, I can’t understand why that can’t happen.

‘I mean, I think there’s a perfectly safe way that that can take place, so I really don’t understand that decision, but as I say, that’s not a decision for the government. It’s the Mayor’s firework display, so I hope he can reconsider it.’ 

Earlier this month Mr Khan also called off a NYE event in Trafalgar Square which would have involved 6,500 key workers and members of the public.

RUSSIA: Fireworks are set off over the city of Vladivostok as eastern Russia kicked off the country's celebrations at midnight

RUSSIA: Fireworks are set off over the city of Vladivostok as eastern Russia kicked off the country's celebrations at midnight

RUSSIA: Fireworks are set off over the city of Vladivostok as eastern Russia kicked off the country’s celebrations at midnight

CHINA: In Beijing, a child wearing a face mask stands in front of a 2022 sign as countries around the world mark the new year

CHINA: In Beijing, a child wearing a face mask stands in front of a 2022 sign as countries around the world mark the new year

CHINA: In Beijing, a child wearing a face mask stands in front of a 2022 sign as countries around the world mark the new year

MailOnline has contacted Sadiq Khan's office for comment

MailOnline has contacted Sadiq Khan's office for comment

MailOnline has contacted Sadiq Khan’s office for comment

A further 189,213 coronavirus cases were recorded across the UK yesterday – a new record high – while the number of hospital patients with Covid in England rose to 11,452, a rise of 61 per cent in just one week.

Estimates published by the Office for National Statistics today suggested one in 25 people in England had Covid in the week to December 23, up from one in 45 in the week to December 16.

One in 25 equates to approximately two million people – the highest number since the ONS started estimating infection levels in England in May 2020.

Boris Johnson will decide next week whether to impose new coronavirus restrictions to limit indoor socialising, The Times reported.  

The Prime Minister opted not to impose new curbs between Christmas and New Year’s Eve but rising Covid case numbers are fuelling fears that new measures could be on the horizon. 

Daily Covid admission in London have risen again, with 456 newly-infected patients placed on wards on December 28. This is the second day in a row admissions been above the crucial 400-a-day threshold that Government advisers warned could trigger nationwide intervention

Daily Covid admission in London have risen again, with 456 newly-infected patients placed on wards on December 28. This is the second day in a row admissions been above the crucial 400-a-day threshold that Government advisers warned could trigger nationwide intervention

Daily Covid admission in London have risen again, with 456 newly-infected patients placed on wards on December 28. This is the second day in a row admissions been above the crucial 400-a-day threshold that Government advisers warned could trigger nationwide intervention

Mr Johnson said in his New Year’s Eve message that the nation’s position in the battle against the disease is now ‘incomparably better than last year’ thanks to the vaccine rollout.

It came as NHS bosses warned that the Government ‘needs to be ready to introduce tighter restrictions at real speed should they be needed’.

Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers, said new curbs ‘may be needed at pace if the evidence warrants it’ as he said health bosses ‘still don’t know’ if there will be a surge in elderly hospitalisations which could trigger Mr Johnson to act.

Meanwhile, a Government scientific adviser today warned it is likely the NHS will be overwhelmed by the spread of the Omicron variant.

Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said: ‘I think we haven’t quite reached the threshold that was set by Government in terms of the NHS being overwhelmed, but it looks like that will be reached quite quickly.’ 

Covid cases are highest among 18 to 35-year-olds (orange line), they said, but are rising in all age groups. There is also an uptick among 55 to 75-year-olds (red line) and over-75s (purple line) who are more at risk from the virus

Covid cases are highest among 18 to 35-year-olds (orange line), they said, but are rising in all age groups. There is also an uptick among 55 to 75-year-olds (red line) and over-75s (purple line) who are more at risk from the virus

Covid cases are highest among 18 to 35-year-olds (orange line), they said, but are rising in all age groups. There is also an uptick among 55 to 75-year-olds (red line) and over-75s (purple line) who are more at risk from the virus

Across England's regions the number of infections is still highest in London. But as Omicron spreads across the country cases are now rising in all other regions

Across England's regions the number of infections is still highest in London. But as Omicron spreads across the country cases are now rising in all other regions

Across England’s regions the number of infections is still highest in London. But as Omicron spreads across the country cases are now rising in all other regions

#notgoingout: Brits take to Twitter to declare they are staying in for New Year’s Eve as nightclubs offer half-price deals or even stay shuttered due to Omicron fears

By Tom Pyman for MailOnline

Britons have taken to Twitter to declare they are #notgoingout on New Year’s Eve tonight as the country remains gripped by Omicron panic.

Dozens of people shared their low-key plans to stay at home on social media, including watching Jools Holland, eating homemade pizza and drinking a mug of cocoa.

It comes as nightclubs in England, which are still allowed to open unlike neighbouring Scotland and Wales, frantically offer half-price deals in a bid to encourage revellers to ring in the new year with them. 

Widespread celebrations have already been cut short, after London mayor Sadiq Khan cancelled the traditional firework display at Trafalgar Square due to the surge in Covid cases. 

People in Manchester told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme this morning that they had concerns over going out.

One said: ‘There’s a plan in place that some friends might be meeting up in a local pub. I’m a little dubious as to whether I want to, so I’m more likely to spend it at home, to be honest.’

Another added: ‘We have been invited to a house party with a few neighbours. We haven’t quite decided yet but it’s something we’re thinking about.’

A third said: ‘I’m spending it with a couple of friends, we’ll probably get a takeaway, that sort of thing. I’m certainly not going into town.’ 

Jools Holland, a party with Kylie and other TV options if you’re staying in this NYE

Emmerdale – ITV, 7pm

EastEnders – BBC One, 7.10pm

Coronation Street – ITV, 8pm 

MasterChef: Champion of Champions – BBC One, 8.30pm

The Last Leg of the Year – Channel 4, 9pm 

Jools’ Annual Hootenanny – BBC Two, 11.25pm

The Big New Years & Years Eve Party with Kylie and Pet Shop Boys – BBC One, 11.25pm 

Cobra Kai – Netflix

Stay Close – Netflix

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Nightclub owner Alex Proud said mixed messaging from the government over end of year celebrations had created ‘a really dire situation’ for the industry.

Alex Proud, who runs Proud Embankment in Brighton, told Sky News: ‘There’s hardly any staff here today, we’re not sold out tonight and that story is the same across the country. 

‘Venues that are normally sold out two weeks in advance are half sold out, and we are screaming in pain.

‘Bookings are massively down. In my venue in Brighton we’re doing a half price sale now, and that’s unheard of in any venue. 

‘Your local pub doesn’t do a sale on New Year’s Eve. It’s disastrously bad.’

With venues forced to close in other areas of the UK, Scottish and Welsh revellers have been arriving in England before hitting the town later tonight. 

Work and Pensions Minister Chloe Smith said people are ‘more than free to move around’ the UK over the New Year on Thursday.

Asked if it would be wrong for people from Scotland to travel across the border into England to celebrate the New Year, Ms Smith told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: ‘Well, I think perhaps I should just add the obvious constitutional point here, which is that we are one country and people are more than free to move around inside our country under the general law, obviously.’

From December 15, Covid passes for entry into nightclubs and other venues have been in place, and this also applies to indoor events with 500 or more people, where they are likely to stand or move around, such as in music venues. 

Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny is once again expected to be widely viewed on BBC Two tonight in a packed TV schedule

Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny is once again expected to be widely viewed on BBC Two tonight in a packed TV schedule

Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny is once again expected to be widely viewed on BBC Two tonight in a packed TV schedule

Some venues, including this one in London's Shoreditch, is advertising offers to try and entice revellers to join them

Some venues, including this one in London's Shoreditch, is advertising offers to try and entice revellers to join them

Some venues, including this one in London’s Shoreditch, is advertising offers to try and entice revellers to join them

While many Brits pledged to stay at home tonight on social media, some others said they were still intending to go out and enjoy themselves

While many Brits pledged to stay at home tonight on social media, some others said they were still intending to go out and enjoy themselves

While many Brits pledged to stay at home tonight on social media, some others said they were still intending to go out and enjoy themselves

Meanwhile, Waitrose has seen a surge in people searching for recipes online, suggesting middle class families are planning to stay in for dinner at home rather than going out.

The supermarket chain says searches for ‘New Year’s Eve recipes’ are 160 per cent higher on its website than 12 months ago, while four times as many people are looking for ‘dinner party recipes’, compared to this time last year. 

Will Torrent, of Waitrose, told the Times: ‘It’s clear our customers are hosting intimate dinner parties for New Year’s Eve this year and findings show that just over a third of shoppers are treating themselves and their guests to high-end, quality products and specialty ingredients. 

‘We’re seeing people upgrading their menus to kick off 2022.’ 

Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny is once again expected to be widely viewed on BBC Two tonight in a packed TV schedule.

Popular soaps EastEnders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street all have episodes this evening, there is a special of Channel 4’s The Last Leg, while BBC One marks the end of the 2021 with ‘The Big New Years & Years Eve Party with Kylie and Pet Shop Boys’. 

How restrictions on New Year’s Eve celebrations vary across the UK 

New Year’s Eve celebrations are likely to be somewhat muted across the country on Friday, as revellers adapt to a raft of different restrictions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Here, we outline how the restrictions compare in the different UK nations.

– How will New Year’s Eve be different in England this year?

Partygoers hoping to watch the traditional firework display for New Year’s Eve in London will be disappointed as the mayor, Sadiq Khan, cancelled the Trafalgar Square event due to the surge in Omicron cases.

Revellers have been asked to watch a live TV broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, which organisers say will celebrate the city and highlight defining moments from the past year.

From December 15, Covid passes for entry into nightclubs and other venues have been in place, and this also applies to indoor events with 500 or more people, where they are likely to stand or move around, such as in music venues.

Face coverings been made compulsory in most indoor public settings, as well as on public transport.

The Government has also said that those celebrating in Scotland are free to travel south of the border to take advantage of looser restrictions in England, where nightclubs remain open.

Work and Pensions Minister Chloe Smith said people are ‘more than free to move around’ the UK over the New Year on Thursday.

Asked if it would be wrong for people from Scotland to travel across the border into England to celebrate the New Year, Ms Smith told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: ‘Well, I think perhaps I should just add the obvious constitutional point here, which is that we are one country and people are more than free to move around inside our country under the general law, obviously.’

But the Government has also urged caution.

During a visit to a vaccination centre in Milton Keynes on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to get tested before New Year’s Eve festivities.

He said: ‘Everybody should enjoy New Year but in a cautious and sensible way – take a test, ventilation, think about others but, above all, get a booster.’

– What will the celebrations be like in Scotland?

In Scotland, events have one-metre social distancing and are limited to 100 people standing indoors, 200 people sitting indoors and 500 people outdoors, with one-metre physical distancing in place in all indoor hospitality and leisure settings. These restrictions include gatherings for Hogmanay celebrations.

Where alcohol is being served, table service is also required.

There is also guidance against travelling south of the border, contradicting England’s approach.

On Wednesday, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney said that while there was nothing to stop people heading across the border to England, where nightclubs are still open, it would be the ‘wrong course of action’ and would go against the ‘spirit’ of the regulations.

The limit on the number of people who can take part in events has seen New Year’s Eve street parties cancelled, including the one planned for Edinburgh.

The Scottish Government has urged people to ‘stay at home as much as possible’, with any meet-ups to be limited to a maximum of three households.

Since December 14, people have been asked to reduce their social contact as much as possible by meeting in groups of no more than three households.

-What will celebrations look like in Northern Ireland?

It has already been announced that nightclubs will be closed on Friday for New Year’s Eve, while dancing is banned in hospitality venues.

For those venturing out to restaurants, table numbers must be limited to six people and diners must remain seated for table service.

– What is happening in Wales?

Current rules say groups of no more than six are allowed to meet in pubs, cinemas and restaurants, while licensed premises can offer table service only.

In pubs and other licensed premises, face masks should be worn, with contact tracing details collected, and customers should observe two-metre social distancing rules.

Nightclubs have been closed since Boxing Day in Wales. A maximum of 30 people can attend indoor events and a maximum of 50 people can be present for outdoor events.

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