Bars, beaches and parks packed as revellers enjoy last day in the sun

Revellers hit the bars after parks and beaches were packed on last day in the sun before new ‘Rule of 6’ coronavirus crackdown – as ministers consider shielding for 4.5m ‘at risk’ and 10pm pub curfew because ‘young people forget the rules’

  • Britons headed out on yesterday as they made the most of the final day of eased social distancing guidelines
  • Across the country, people met in large groups despite fears over growing infection rates of Covid-19
  • From today people will only be able to socialise with six amid fears that young people are fuelling rising rate

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Britons enjoyed a final group pint together last night ahead of the new ‘rule of six’ coronavirus crackdown hitting today.

People met outdoors in drinking spots across the UK’s cities before the hard-line restrictions were put into place at midnight.

Leeds and London saw revellers mount a last hurrah with the warm weather providing fine conditions for the social gatherings.  

Earlier in the day sun-soaked areas such as Bournemouth, Brighton and Nottingham were packed before the strict new regulations came in to tackle rising coronavirus infection rates. 

It came as officials urged young people to heed their warnings and remember ‘the importance of the rules’ as the country’s Covid case total continues to soar. 

Some 3,330 coronavirus cases were reported today – up 11 per cent from last Sunday. It follows 3,497 confirmed cases on Saturday and 3,539 cases on Friday. 

Meanwhile, a report has revealed that up to 4.5 million people most at risk from Covid will be instructed to stay at home under a new shielding plan based on health, age and weight.

Letters with tailored advice are to be sent to individuals based on a new ‘risk model’ which will factor in underlying health conditions, age, sex and weight.

It will be introduced first for areas with high rates of infection but a Whitehall source told The Sunday Telegraph ‘if the rate is so concerning across the whole of England we are prepared to do it on a blanket basis.’ 

As Britain stands on the brink of lockdown Mark II: 

  • Police last night cracked down on young revellers hitting the booze before Boris Johnson’s new six person limit to social gatherings kicked in today;
  • Nightingale hospitals ‘have been put on standby’ and the nation warned to adhere to the Prime Minister’s new rules or face another full lockdown;
  • The Government’s ‘world-beating’ testing system is in ‘chaos’ with a backlog of 185,000 swabs and is dispatching the samples to Italy and Germany to deal with the strain;
  • Six West End theatres say they’ll reopen next month with temperature checks at the doors, face masks and socially-distanced seating;
  • Tory donors have urged the Government to protect the economy above all because without money there can be no healthcare. 
The final countdown: Drinkers realised Sunday could be their last big night out so made the most of the evening

The final countdown: Drinkers realised Sunday could be their last big night out so made the most of the evening

Final hurrah: one drinker in Leeds gives a thumbs up on Sunday night before the new restrictions kicked in this morning

Final hurrah: one drinker in Leeds gives a thumbs up on Sunday night before the new restrictions kicked in this morning

Warm weather encouraged drinkers to glam up for the night

One woman gives her friend a piggy back after a night out

Young men and women took the weekend to be the last chance to party before hardline rules were introduced by the PM

Soho in London saw couples and groups enjoy a night out ahead of the new conditions slapped on the UK by Boris Johnson

Soho in London saw couples and groups enjoy a night out ahead of the new conditions slapped on the UK by Boris Johnson

A large group congregates in Regents Park in London, hugging each other as they met up ahead of new guidelines today

A large group congregates in Regents Park in London, hugging each other as they met up ahead of new guidelines today

Dozens of boy racers gathered at an industrial estate in Nottingham as they met up in a large group despite rising virus rates

Dozens of boy racers gathered at an industrial estate in Nottingham as they met up in a large group despite rising virus rates

Beach goers packed out the roads in Bournemouth before the 'rule of six' restrictions come into force on Monday, further limiting social contact with groups

Beach goers packed out the roads in Bournemouth before the ‘rule of six’ restrictions come into force on Monday, further limiting social contact with groups

In Brighton, beachgoers were seen dotted all over the sand as the warm weather brought people out in their droves on Sunday

In Brighton, beachgoers were seen dotted all over the sand as the warm weather brought people out in their droves on Sunday

In Camden, people were making the most of the good weather before the new restrictions came in as they gathered a food market

In Camden, people were making the most of the good weather before the new restrictions came in as they gathered a food market

In Soho, diners filled the streets as they enjoyed the al fresco seating arrangements in the bustling streets

In Soho, diners filled the streets as they enjoyed the al fresco seating arrangements in the bustling streets 

Chinatown was full of people as they flocked to the centre of London to enjoy the sunny day in the tourist hotspot

Chinatown was full of people as they flocked to the centre of London to enjoy the sunny day in the tourist hotspot 

Groups gathered on Primrose Hill in London to soak up the sun in the park as they met up before new social distancing guidelines take effect

Groups gathered on Primrose Hill in London to soak up the sun in the park as they met up before new social distancing guidelines take effect

People were enjoying the autumn sunshine in Kings Cross, London as they met up on the sunny Sunday

People were enjoying the autumn sunshine in Kings Cross, London as they met up on the sunny Sunday

People were sat in very close proximity to each other in Soho as they met up ahead of changes to the government restrictions

People were sat in very close proximity to each other in Soho as they met up ahead of changes to the government restrictions

In Plymouth, punters enjoyed an evening the Barbican on the last night out before they will be limited to seeing five people

In Plymouth, punters enjoyed an evening the Barbican on the last night out before they will be limited to seeing five people

The car fans showed up in their flashy vehicles and looked to be in very close proximity to each other for the meet-up

The car fans showed up in their flashy vehicles and looked to be in very close proximity to each other for the meet-up

As many as 100 people gathered at the Blenheim industrial estate near Bulwell Nottingham

As many as 100 people gathered at the Blenheim industrial estate near Bulwell Nottingham

Drinkers in Nottingham enjoy their last pint at the pub before new lockdown rules come into effect, banning large groups from meeting

Drinkers in Nottingham enjoy their last pint at the pub before new lockdown rules come into effect, banning large groups from meeting

In Bournemouth, swathes of sun worshippers lined roads and filled beaches to enjoy the heatwave.

And in London, many headed to bars, standing in close proximity despite the persisting pandemic. 

Ministers are considering a 10pm curfew for pubs next week with Justice Secretary Robert Buckland warning that young people are ‘forgetting the rules’.

The controversial so-called ‘rule of six’ came in today, as the government tried to tackle rising coronavirus infection rates by restricting meetings both indoors and outdoors.

Many chose to push the boat out while they still could and went out for a last hurrah before once again being constrained to friendship ‘bubbles’.

Owain, 24, who travelled from Guildford, Surrey, down to Brighton with his friends on Saturday night, said: ‘This new rule means we’re not going be able to go out for ages together as a group.

‘It might even be after Christmas before we see each other again so we wanted to go out in style.’

It was a similar tale for families during the daytime yesterday. The Ledbetter family from Crawley, West Sussex, enjoyed Sunday lunch at the Music Hall in Brighton.

Haydn Ledbetter, 49, wife Donna, 45, and their two children joined three other friends and their families to make a party of 14.

They had taken over two benches to enjoy fish and chips in the sunshine.

Mr Ledbetter, an airport worker, said: ‘Frankly the Government has made so many U-turns this summer none of us trust them to make a good call any more.

‘If the law is still in place at Christmas then I certainly won’t be sticking to it.’ 

Ahead of the crackdown, Mr Buckland has warned the government could go even further next week and introduce curfews.

He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: ‘I think that as you’ve seen we’ve been very prepared to move quickly where necessary and where the evidence points us.

‘I think there’s an issue about social occasions and social events and particularly young people getting together and enjoying themselves sometimes a bit too much and forgetting the importance of the rules.

In Birmingham, many headed out on Sunday to soak up the sun ahead of the tightening of social distancing guidelines

In Birmingham, many headed out on Sunday to soak up the sun ahead of the tightening of social distancing guidelines

In Bournemouth, swathes of sun worshippers lined the roads and filled the beaches to enjoy the heatwave

In Bournemouth, swathes of sun worshippers lined the roads and filled the beaches to enjoy the heatwave

On the south coast, many headed to the beach on the last day before the new six people limit kicks in to help against the spread of Covid-19

On the south coast, many headed to the beach on the last day before the new six people limit kicks in to help against the spread of Covid-19

The public has been urged to act 'in tune' with guidelines before the restrictions come into force on Monday

The public has been urged to act ‘in tune’ with guidelines before the restrictions come into force on Monday

Many were pictured dining out on Sunday as people continue to fill restaurants after the success of Eat Out To Help Out in August

Many were pictured dining out on Sunday as people continue to fill restaurants after the success of Eat Out To Help Out in August

In Camden, weekend revellers packed the bars and pubs, with groups separated by perspex panels as they met up on the last day before new restrictions

In Camden, weekend revellers packed the bars and pubs, with groups separated by perspex panels as they met up on the last day before new restrictions

In Bournemouth, many flocked to the beach as Briton enjoys a heatwave, with many meeting up in large groups for the day out

In Bournemouth, many flocked to the beach as Briton enjoys a heatwave, with many meeting up in large groups for the day out

A group of five meet up to head for a beach day in Bournemouth as they made the most of the weather despite rising rates

A group of five meet up to head for a beach day in Bournemouth as they made the most of the weather despite rising rates

From tomorrow, the controversial so-called 'rule of six' will come in, as the government tries to tackle rising coronavirus infection rates by restricting meetings both indoors and outdoors

From tomorrow, the controversial so-called ‘rule of six’ will come in, as the government tries to tackle rising coronavirus infection rates by restricting meetings both indoors and outdoors

Yesterday, more than 3,000 coronavirus cases were recorded overall in the UK for the second day in a row - the first time since mid-May that recorded cases have been above that level on consecutive days

Yesterday, more than 3,000 coronavirus cases were recorded overall in the UK for the second day in a row – the first time since mid-May that recorded cases have been above that level on consecutive days

In Soho, many dined outside at separate tables as they headed into central London to meet up despite fears over young people fuelling rising virus rates

In Soho, many dined outside at separate tables as they headed into central London to meet up despite fears over young people fuelling rising virus rates

Over the weekend, many have flouted current guidelines, with police shutting down illegal raves despite fears over the second wave

Over the weekend, many have flouted current guidelines, with police shutting down illegal raves despite fears over the second wave

‘I think it would be idle of me to speculate as to what measures we might have to bring in as we approach the winter.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is believed to be considering introducing a 10pm or 11pm curfew on restaurants, bars and pubs if local measures are unable to bring the spread of the virus under control.

The move stems from a concern that adherence to social distancing measures diminishes the more people consume alcohol.

It comes amid rising fears that the virus could rampage through Britain once again. 

Yesterday, more than 3,000 coronavirus cases were recorded overall in the UK for the second day in a row – the first time since mid-May that recorded cases have been above that level on consecutive days.

The Government said that as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 3,497 lab-confirmed cases in the UK, slightly lower than the 3,539 cases recorded on Friday.

Speaking about the rise in cases, Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine, Imperial College London, said a ‘trickle’ of cases can turn into a ‘cascade’, adding that if people do not abide by the ‘rule of six’ now then the country faces going back into ‘hard lockdown’.

GREATER MANCHESTER: Revellers were seen not to be socially distancing as the police made a heavy presence across Manchester as party-goers let loose ahead of the new restrictions being introduced on Monday

GREATER MANCHESTER: Revellers were seen not to be socially distancing as the police made a heavy presence across Manchester as party-goers let loose ahead of the new restrictions being introduced on Monday

NOTTINGHAM: Police broke up a house party in Harlaxton Drive in Lenton, Nottingham, at around 7pm on Friday as officers launched a crackdown ahead of changes to rules

NOTTINGHAM: Police broke up a house party in Harlaxton Drive in Lenton, Nottingham, at around 7pm on Friday as officers launched a crackdown ahead of changes to rules

LONDON: People are seen dancing to a busker in Leicester Square tonight in London, England. From Monday, September 14, groups of more than six will be banned from meeting under new coronavirus restrictions

LONDON: People are seen dancing to a busker in Leicester Square tonight in London, England. From Monday, September 14, groups of more than six will be banned from meeting under new coronavirus restrictions

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland warned that young people are 'forgetting the rules' ahead of the new limits on gatherings coming into force tomorrow

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland warned that young people are ‘forgetting the rules’ ahead of the new limits on gatherings coming into force tomorrow

He said: ‘I think everyone is in agreement that we really need to act very quickly now in order to prevent this from growing exponentially.

‘I think that’s the main point is that we must act fast because it’s so much harder to get this sort of thing under control if you delay.

‘Even a few days is potentially going to be quite dangerous now at this particular moment.’

Former chief scientific adviser and member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) Sir Mark Walport has warned that the country is ‘on the edge of losing control’ of Covid-19.

Asked if he thinks Sir Mark is right, Prof Openshaw told Ridge: ‘Well yes I think that is right.’

Police across Britain last night launched a crack down on illegal parties as revellers hit the town for boozy celebrations.

Officers broke up house parties in Altrincham, Stockport and Flixton, all in Greater Manchester, on Saturday night, while police in Nottingham tackled a 50 person gathering in Lenton.

In the largest gathering said to have been broken up by officers last night, a team from Greater Manchester Police dispersed around 70 party-goers from a house in Mottram.

Police are also investigating an illegal rave which took place in the leafy Surrey village of Wisley. 

Under Boris Johnson‘s strict new measures, groups of more than six can be broken up by police who will be able to hand out £100 fines to those who flout the rules.

This will double on each repeat offence up to £3,200 and only schools, workplaces and a limited number of other locations will be exempt.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, yesterday described the rule as ‘extraordinarily harsh’ and said it interfered with a ‘right to normal family life’.

Labour also backed a review of the rule to allow children to be exempted. 

Rachel Reeves, shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, said yesterday: ‘I think the simplicity of the rule of six is useful, but I think the Government needs to keep under review whether children need to be included in that or whether we can do more to enable families to come together.’ 

Sir Graham told BBC Radio 4: ‘The new restrictions obviously are extraordinarily harsh. They are a very serious interference in people’s normal personal freedom and their right to normal family life as well… We have a Parliament which is meant to make some decisions. I suspect in this instance whereas people like me when I’m not satisfied by the explanations given for a rule of six rather than eight or ten, or whether children should be included or excluded, I might well vote against it if we were allowed a vote.

‘But I suspect given the opposition parties have been in favour of locking everybody down for as long as possible and removing all of their freedoms at every opportunity that the Government would actually win very easily.’ 

People with large families have also urged ministers to rethink the restrictions so young children are excluded.

Sarah Pearson, 41, from Norwich, has six children. The rule means she would face a fine of £100 if as a group they meet anyone outside the family. She said: ‘We are already being careful. It’s another thing that separates them from friends.’ 

The move, introduced to tackle the rising spread of coronavirus, comes as a Government-led study yesterday suggested the reproduction ‘R’ rate could be as high as 1.7 in England. 

Tim Robson, the North East’s representative on the national Pubwatch scheme, expected police officers would strictly monitor bars over the weekend to ensure they are operating safely.

LONDON: People are seen dancing to a keyboard player's music in Leicester Square on Saturday night ahead of Monday's rule changes

LONDON: People are seen dancing to a keyboard player’s music in Leicester Square on Saturday night ahead of Monday’s rule changes

LONDON: General view of people enjoying a night out in Soho, in London's West End. People have been warned against having a "party weekend" as a former chief scientific adviser said the UK is "on the edge of losing control" of coronavirus

LONDON: General view of people enjoying a night out in Soho, in London’s West End. People have been warned against having a ‘party weekend’ as a former chief scientific adviser said the UK is ‘on the edge of losing control’ of coronavirus

NOTTINGHAM: Revellers flock to city centre bars to enjoy a night out before coronavirus rules change on Monday

NOTTINGHAM: Revellers flock to city centre bars to enjoy a night out before coronavirus rules change on Monday

MANCHESTER: Drinkers flock to bars and restaurants in Manchester to enjoy a night out before lockdown restrictions are tightened on Monday

MANCHESTER: Drinkers flock to bars and restaurants in Manchester to enjoy a night out before lockdown restrictions are tightened on Monday 

PORTSMOUTH: Hundreds of people enjoy a Saturday night on the town in the pubs and bars in Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth, Hampshire

PORTSMOUTH: Hundreds of people enjoy a Saturday night on the town in the pubs and bars in Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth, Hampshire

LEEDS: Revellers hit the bars in Leeds tonight before tougher new 'rule of six' comes into force from Monday

LEEDS: Revellers hit the bars in Leeds tonight before tougher new ‘rule of six’ comes into force from Monday 

NEWCASTLE: A group of girls hit the town in Newcastle on Friday night ahead of the new rules, as the northern city is also put on a watch list as Covid-19 cases rise dramatically in the area

NEWCASTLE: A group of girls hit the town in Newcastle on Friday night ahead of the new rules, as the northern city is also put on a watch list as Covid-19 cases rise dramatically in the area

He said: ‘There is an anticipation that everyone is going to have a big last binge, but people are starting to get fearful and a lot of licensed premises have already been clamped down on by the police.’

Mr Robson, a former police officer, said it will be up to licensees to manage their premises and break up large groups from gathering together unsafely.

He added: ‘There may be a rise in groups going out this weekend, but it will be probably to premises who don’t have door supervision and control.’

Meanwhile Newcastle upon Tyne’s director of public health Eugene Milne has said he did not think large numbers of people would go out for a big binge ahead of the tighter controls coming in. 

He told Tyne Tees TV News: ‘At the opening of lockdown there was a real fear that that might happen in the city, and that didn’t happen so I think we can trust people.

‘The idea of the rule of six is to make it easier for people to know how to stick with the guidance and I think one of the big problems has been the guidance has progressively got so complicated, so specific to particular areas, that it becomes very confusing for everybody.’

GREATER MANCHESTER: Revellers enjoy a night out ahead of the new Covid restrictions across Greater Manchester as the 'rule of six' comes into force on Monday

GREATER MANCHESTER: Revellers enjoy a night out ahead of the new Covid restrictions across Greater Manchester as the ‘rule of six’ comes into force on Monday

PORTSMOUTH: Hundreds of people enjoyed a Saturday night on the town in the pubs ad bars in Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Many were in groups of more than six people, which will be banned from Monday

PORTSMOUTH: Hundreds of people enjoyed a Saturday night on the town in the pubs ad bars in Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Many were in groups of more than six people, which will be banned from Monday

PORTSMOUTH: A group of people enjoy a night out on Saturday at Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth, Hampshire, before the new restrictions are introduced on Monday

PORTSMOUTH: A group of people enjoy a night out on Saturday at Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth, Hampshire, before the new restrictions are introduced on Monday

MANCHESTER: Drinkers crowd outside the packed Paramount Wetherspoons in Manchester tonight before new lockdown restrictions are introduced on Monday

MANCHESTER: Drinkers crowd outside the packed Paramount Wetherspoons in Manchester tonight before new lockdown restrictions are introduced on Monday 

LEEDS: Revellers hit the streets in Leeds tonight for one last night of freedom before tougher new coronavirus lockdown measures come into force from Monday

LEEDS: Revellers hit the streets in Leeds tonight for one last night of freedom before tougher new coronavirus lockdown measures come into force from Monday 

MANCHESTER: One reveller rests her head on a concrete wall in Manchester as other revellers stand around in the streets of Manchester

MANCHESTER: One reveller rests her head on a concrete wall in Manchester as other revellers stand around in the streets of Manchester

NEWCASTLE: Revellers enjoy a night out on the town on Friday night as the government prepares to bring in new rules limiting the number of people in groups to six

NEWCASTLE: Revellers enjoy a night out on the town on Friday night as the government prepares to bring in new rules limiting the number of people in groups to six

LEEDS: Meanwhile, in Leeds, Yorkshire, two women also enjoy a final night of freedom ahead of new lockdown rules

LEEDS: Meanwhile, in Leeds, Yorkshire, two women also enjoy a final night of freedom ahead of new lockdown rules

NEWCASTLE: A woman gets a piggie-back from a fellow reveller as partygoers celebrate on Friday night going into Saturday morning

NEWCASTLE: A woman gets a piggie-back from a fellow reveller as partygoers celebrate on Friday night going into Saturday morning 

LEEDS: Two woman walk through the streets of Leeds on Satudray night as people flocked to bars ahead of new social distancing rules

LEEDS: Two woman walk through the streets of Leeds on Satudray night as people flocked to bars ahead of new social distancing rules

PORTSMOUTH: Hundreds of people enjoy a Saturday night on the town at the pubs and bars on Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth, Hampshire

PORTSMOUTH: Hundreds of people enjoy a Saturday night on the town at the pubs and bars on Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth, Hampshire

LONDON: General view of people enjoying a night out in Soho, in London's West End tonight, before new lockdown measures are introduced on Monday

LONDON: General view of people enjoying a night out in Soho, in London’s West End tonight, before new lockdown measures are introduced on Monday 

LONDON: In Soho people took to the streets of the city's famous nightlife hot-spot to enjoy one last night of freedom on Saturday night

LONDON: In Soho people took to the streets of the city’s famous nightlife hot-spot to enjoy one last night of freedom on Saturday night

LONDON: Two woman are seen dancing in Soho in London as hundreds headed to the city's famous nightlife district on Saturday night

LONDON: Two woman are seen dancing in Soho in London as hundreds headed to the city’s famous nightlife district on Saturday night

GREATER MANCHESTER: Police make a heavy presence across Greater Manchester this weekend as revellers were seen not to be socially distancing

GREATER MANCHESTER: Police make a heavy presence across Greater Manchester this weekend as revellers were seen not to be socially distancing

GREATER MANCHESTER: Police chat to revellers in the streets of Greater Manchester on Saturday night, with new restrictions on social gatherings coming in from Monday

GREATER MANCHESTER: Police chat to revellers in the streets of Greater Manchester on Saturday night, with new restrictions on social gatherings coming in from Monday

GREATER MANCHESTER: Revellers were seen not to be socially distancing in Greater Manchester as the police made a heavy presence across the city

GREATER MANCHESTER: Revellers were seen not to be socially distancing in Greater Manchester as the police made a heavy presence across the city

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the spike in infections justifies the Government’s new ‘rule of six’, warning people ‘the pandemic is not over’. 

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove today urged people to act ‘in tune with’ the rules this weekend ahead of the ‘rule of six’ coming into force or risk increasing the rate of spread of coronavirus.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘If people do behave in a way that is not really in line or in tune with the guidelines that have been put out then they are putting other people at risk.

‘The reason why the country’s police chiefs have said that they hope people behave with appropriate restraint this weekend is we do not want to see a further acceleration of the spread of the virus.’

LONDON: People are seen dancing to a busker's music in Leicester Square in London on Saturday night ahead of the new rules

LONDON: People are seen dancing to a busker’s music in Leicester Square in London on Saturday night ahead of the new rules

LONDON: Members of the public spend a night out in Central London, Britain tonight. The British government is due to implement new restrictions banning gatherings of six people from Monday

LONDON: Members of the public spend a night out in Central London, Britain tonight. The British government is due to implement new restrictions banning gatherings of six people from Monday 

LONDON: Revellers are seen partying in the streets of Soho in London ahead of plans to bring in a ban on meetings of groups of more than six

LONDON: Revellers are seen partying in the streets of Soho in London ahead of plans to bring in a ban on meetings of groups of more than six

LONDON: Groups of men and women crowd into the streets of Soho for one last night of freedom ahead of a change in social distancing rules

LONDON: Groups of men and women crowd into the streets of Soho for one last night of freedom ahead of a change in social distancing rules

LONDON: Musicians with drums were also seen playing to crowds of people in the streets of Soho on the country's last night of freedom

LONDON: Musicians with drums were also seen playing to crowds of people in the streets of Soho on the country’s last night of freedom

LEEDS: In Leeds a busker attracted a group of around 50 people who celebrated and cheered as the musician played in the street

LEEDS: In Leeds a busker attracted a group of around 50 people who celebrated and cheered as the musician played in the street

LEEDS: A group of four revellers hold hands and link arms round each others shoulders on the last hurrah before new rules are introduced

LEEDS: A group of four revellers hold hands and link arms round each others shoulders on the last hurrah before new rules are introduced

LONDON: Members of the public spend a night out in Central London, Britain tonight. The British government is due to implement new restrictions banning gatherings of six people from Monday

LONDON: Members of the public spend a night out in Central London, Britain tonight. The British government is due to implement new restrictions banning gatherings of six people from Monday

MANCHESTER: A large number of people queue to enter the Dirty Martini bar in Manchester on Saturday night

MANCHESTER: A large number of people queue to enter the Dirty Martini bar in Manchester on Saturday night 

He denied that the Government was losing control of Covid-19. ‘No. I don’t accept that,’ he said.  

Mr Gove also rubbished claims that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s hugely popular Eat Out To Help Out programme contributed to the spread of coronavirus, and said fines could be necessary in order to enforce self-isolation rules.

Speaking to the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, he said: ‘We’re not saying people shouldn’t see their friends but there does need to be a degree of self-discipline, of restriction to deal with the challenges we are facing.’

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster also responded to criticism of the Government’s anti-Covid crackdown, saying people can only have freedom if it is exercised ‘responsibly’.  

NOTTINGHAM: Revellers flock to city centre bars to enjoy a night out before coronavirus rules change on Monday. Crowds of people flocked to bars and pubs in the city. Long queues were seen outside a number of bars with social distancing at a minimum

NOTTINGHAM: Revellers flock to city centre bars to enjoy a night out before coronavirus rules change on Monday. Crowds of people flocked to bars and pubs in the city. Long queues were seen outside a number of bars with social distancing at a minimum

LONDON: People enjoying a night out in Leicester Square in London's West End ahead of new social distancing rules coming in

LONDON: People enjoying a night out in Leicester Square in London’s West End ahead of new social distancing rules coming in

NOTTINGHAM: Revellers flock to city centre bars to enjoy a night out before coronavirus rules change on Monday

NOTTINGHAM: Revellers flock to city centre bars to enjoy a night out before coronavirus rules change on Monday

LEEDS: A woman is given a piggie-back across in a road in Leeds, Yorkshire, as people enjoy a final hurrah on the last weekend before rule changes

LEEDS: A woman is given a piggie-back across in a road in Leeds, Yorkshire, as people enjoy a final hurrah on the last weekend before rule changes

LONDON: General view of people enjoying a night out in Soho, in London's West End, shortly after being warned not to have a 'party weekend' by scientific advisers

LONDON: General view of people enjoying a night out in Soho, in London’s West End, shortly after being warned not to have a ‘party weekend’ by scientific advisers 

LEEDS: Revellers hit the town in Leeds on the last weekend before the government's tough new 'rule of six' comes into force

LEEDS: Revellers hit the town in Leeds on the last weekend before the government’s tough new ‘rule of six’ comes into force 

LEEDS: A group of women in Leeds, Yorkshire, hit the two on the final night of freedom before new rules are introduced for social distancing

LEEDS: A group of women in Leeds, Yorkshire, hit the two on the final night of freedom before new rules are introduced for social distancing

LEEDS: Revellers take to the town in Leeds for one final hurrah for now as new social distancing restrictions come into place on Monday

LEEDS: Revellers take to the town in Leeds for one final hurrah for now as new social distancing restrictions come into place on Monday

LONDON: General view of people enjoying a night out in Soho, in London's West End as people have been warned against having a 'party weekend

LONDON: General view of people enjoying a night out in Soho, in London’s West End as people have been warned against having a ‘party weekend

LEEDS: A group of people head to a bar in Leeds, Yorkshire as the UK heads for new rules banning groups of more than six people from gathering

LEEDS: A group of people head to a bar in Leeds, Yorkshire as the UK heads for new rules banning groups of more than six people from gathering

‘I don’t want to see fines being levied but even more I do not want to see people behaving in a way that puts the most vulnerable at risk,’ Mr Gove told the Today programme this morning. ‘Well there are restrictions, and I love freedom, but the one thing I think is even more important is that you exercise freedom with responsibility. 

Student, 19, who threw house party for 50 people that saw him fined £10,000 apologises

By Raven Saunt 

A 19-year-old student, who threw house party for 50 people that saw him fined £10,000, has apologised after claiming he ‘only’ invited 25 people but things ‘got out of hand’.

The teenage host had become ‘hostile’ when council community protection officers were called to the house in Harlaxton Drive in Lenton, Nottingham, at around 7pm on Friday.

Police were called a short time later and found around 50 people at the address, which is close to the university, who were all ordered to leave.

Officers claim the young man was given the chance to shut down Friday’s party before he was issued with the hefty fine.

He has since apologised for his actions but refused to say whether he will pay or appeal the fine, or who will end up picking up the tab, if the appeal is unsuccessful.

The fine comes just days before new rules come in force whereby only six people can meet at any one time.

There are currently six students living at the property who did not wish to be identified.

But, speaking after the incident, one said: ‘It was meant to be a small gathering with mates and it got out of hand.

‘We had invited 25 people and it was out in the garden and aimed to end at 11pm and we were trying to social distance but then people invited their mates and so on.

‘It got out of hand and we are really sorry.’

Police said if he fails to pay or contests the fine he will appear before a court. 

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‘When you are exercising freedom, you should do so in a way that does not do harm to others.’   

As people gathered in the streets to party, Greater Manchester Police said they closed down illegal gatherings at properties in Altrincham and Flixton on Saturday night, as well as a large gathering of around 70 people in Mottram.

Fixed penalty notices were issued at each of the incidents as current rules only allow groups of up to 30 to meet.

The interventions came just hours after officers attended a gathering at an address in Stockport which had 45 people in attendance, and another address in north Manchester which they had been called to on two previous occasions.

Earlier, Nottinghamshire Police issued a teenager with a £10,000 fine for hosting a house party in Lenton, which saw more than 50 guests gather at a home on Harlaxton Drive.

The force said if the 19-year-old man fails to pay or contests the fine he will appear before a court.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper, from Nottinghamshire Police, warned anyone thinking of hosting parties ahead of the changes on Monday – when social gatherings in England will be limited to groups of six people both indoors and outdoors – to think again or face the consequences.

He said: ‘We need to all remember we are very much still in the middle of a global pandemic and we all need to take responsibility for our actions.

‘I want to send out a clear message to anyone who is thinking of deliberately hosting parties tonight or tomorrow night ahead of the rules changing to please not do this.

‘We are not afraid to use the full powers we have and we will not tolerate those who are deliberately putting other people’s lives in danger.’

As hundreds of Britons enjoyed a final weekend of freedom, police bosses urged people to look after each other and avoid a ‘party weekend’ before the restrictions are implemented.

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ‘There is a real risk some members of the public will take advantage of the current situation and treat this weekend as a party weekend ahead of the tighter restrictions being introduced on Monday.

‘Alcohol and warm weather are not a good combination at the best of times. Using the current situation as an opportunity and excuse to party would be incredibly irresponsible and put pressure not only on policing, but potentially on the ambulance service and NHS.

‘We are in the grip of a deadly pandemic and we have seen cases increasing over recent weeks. Policing is under pressure like never before, but my colleagues will give enforcement notices if they feel it’s appropriate, and we make no apology for doing so.’ 

LONDON: Revellers enjoy a night of freedom in Soho tonight ahead of the government's new rule of six which comes into force from Monday

LONDON: Revellers enjoy a night of freedom in Soho tonight ahead of the government’s new rule of six which comes into force from Monday 

LONDON: Large crowds gathered around a keyboard player in London's popular Leicester Square on Saturday, September 12

LONDON: Large crowds gathered around a keyboard player in London’s popular Leicester Square on Saturday, September 12

LONDON: A couple wearing masks are seen in front of crowds on Saturday, September 12,  in London, England ahead of the rule changes

LONDON: A couple wearing masks are seen in front of crowds on Saturday, September 12,  in London, England ahead of the rule changes

LONDON: People are seen eating and drinking at seats in the street outside a restaurant in the capital, as a sign warns of temporary Covid-19 restrictions

LONDON: People are seen eating and drinking at seats in the street outside a restaurant in the capital, as a sign warns of temporary Covid-19 restrictions

LONDON: Groups sit at tables in London's Soho district on Saturday night. The area is popular among revellers in the capital

LONDON: Groups sit at tables in London’s Soho district on Saturday night. The area is popular among revellers in the capital

LONDON: Revellers walk through London's Chinatown in the city's West End as people enjoy one last night of freedom in the capital

LONDON: Revellers walk through London’s Chinatown in the city’s West End as people enjoy one last night of freedom in the capital

LONDON: Revellers enjoy a night of freedom in Soho tonight ahead of the government's new rule of six which comes into force from Monday

LONDON: Revellers enjoy a night of freedom in Soho tonight ahead of the government’s new rule of six which comes into force from Monday

LONDON: Earlier in the day groups of people had met around tables in the streets of Soho in London ahead of new rules limiting gatherings to six

LONDON: Earlier in the day groups of people had met around tables in the streets of Soho in London ahead of new rules limiting gatherings to six

LONDON: Groups of people met and sat around tables in London's Soho district to enjoy a drink in the streets of the popular nightlife hot-spot

LONDON: Groups of people met and sat around tables in London’s Soho district to enjoy a drink in the streets of the popular nightlife hot-spot

LONDON: A group of people wearing tour headphones and some with cans of drink walk through London on Saturday

LONDON: A group of people wearing tour headphones and some with cans of drink walk through London on Saturday

Elsewhere, would-be revellers were encouraged to stay home as Birmingham became the latest city to be hit with localised lockdown rules after the number of coronavirus patients being admitted to hospitals doubled in a week. 

From Tuesday, more than 1.5million people in Birmingham and neighbouring Solihull and Sandwell will be banned from mixing with anyone outside of their own household in private homes, pubs, restaurants or in gardens.

Yesterday, police officers told the Telegraph they fear Britain will resemble the ‘last days of Rome’ after this weekend amid a storm of decadent planned pre-lockdown parties.  

One officer, based in the north east of England, said: ‘We are worried this weekend is going to be like the last days of Rome.  

‘If people think they are not going to be allowed to go out and enjoy themselves for the next few months, they are going to go crazy and we will be left picking up the pieces.’

Britons have promised to run riot and enjoy one last knees-up with friends before Mr Johnson’s stringent new coronavirus restrictions come into force.  

Many are having to cancel parties after warnings of a rapid increase in infections among people in their teens, 20s and 30s – but fears have risen that some will take the weekend as an opportunity to run wild despite the ongoing pandemic.

A senior officer said they were not sure if police had the resources to meet the challenge of thousands of people ignoring restrictions this weekend.   

Chairman of the Police Federation in West Yorkshire, Brian Booth, added officers were ‘flat out again doing the everyday things such as dealing with stabbings, shootings, drug dealers, missing people etc’. 

‘If we are going to be asked to focus on enforcement, something else will have to give,’ he said. 

Storm grows over ‘irrational’ Rule of 6: Government advisor admits curbs are flawed amid clamour to relax rules so they don’t include children 

Jason Groves Political Editor for the Daily Mail

Ministers are facing mounting pressure to relax the controversial ‘rule of six’ which comes into force on Monday.

The Covid crackdown measure makes it illegal for people to meet in groups of seven or more, either indoors or outdoors.

Police have been told to step up enforcement by breaking up large gatherings and issuing £100 fines to those who refuse to disperse.

And Boris Johnson has urged councils to recruit a new army of ‘Covid marshals’ to help enforce the law in town centres.

One member of the Government’s Sage advisory group yesterday acknowledged that the details of the rule of six could seem ‘somewhat irrational’.

Members of the public spend a night out in central London on Saturday night. The British government is due to implement new restrictions banning gatherings of six people from Monday

Members of the public spend a night out in central London on Saturday night. The British government is due to implement new restrictions banning gatherings of six people from Monday

Revellers in Cardiff, South Wales on a night out on the last weekend before tighter Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are introduced

Revellers in Cardiff, South Wales on a night out on the last weekend before tighter Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are introduced

Tory MPs are pushing for an exemption for children aged under 12, as has been allowed in both Scotland and Wales.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, yesterday described the rule as ‘extraordinarily harsh’ and said it interfered with a ‘right to normal family life’.

Labour also backed a review of the rule to allow children to be exempted. Rachel Reeves, shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, said yesterday: ‘I think the simplicity of the rule of six is useful, but I think the Government needs to keep under review whether children need to be included in that or whether we can do more to enable families to come together.’ Sir Graham told BBC Radio 4: ‘The new restrictions obviously are extraordinarily harsh. They are a very serious interference in people’s normal personal freedom and their right to normal family life as well… We have a Parliament which is meant to make some decisions. I suspect in this instance whereas people like me when I’m not satisfied by the explanations given for a rule of six rather than eight or ten, or whether children should be included or excluded, I might well vote against it if we were allowed a vote.

‘But I suspect given the opposition parties have been in favour of locking everybody down for as long as possible and removing all of their freedoms at every opportunity that the Government would actually win very easily.’

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland appeared to rule out an early review of the rule. He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that ‘simplicity’ was vital in ensuring everyone understood what was expected of them.

Revellers in Leeds hit the streets to celebrate. Ministers are facing mounting pressure to relax the controversial 'rule of six' which comes into force on Monday

Revellers in Leeds hit the streets to celebrate. Ministers are facing mounting pressure to relax the controversial ‘rule of six’ which comes into force on Monday

A group of people enjoy their evening at the Barbican in Plymouth, Devon, on Sunday. From Monday, tighter Covid restrictions will be enforced

A group of people enjoy their evening at the Barbican in Plymouth, Devon, on Sunday. From Monday, tighter Covid restrictions will be enforced

Revellers in Newcastle City Centre pose on Saturday evening before new measure are put in place from Monday limiting group sizes to six people as Covid infections are on the rise in the city

Revellers in Newcastle City Centre pose on Saturday evening before new measure are put in place from Monday limiting group sizes to six people as Covid infections are on the rise in the city

‘I think this rule of six is very straightforward,’ he said. ‘Everybody can understand it.

‘Our social life, however nice to have it is and however important it is to bring families together, has to come second to those priorities if we are to maintain the balance between recovering our economy, educating our youngsters and fighting this virus.’

Professor Peter Openshaw, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advice Group for Emergencies, admitted that the details of the new rule could seem ‘somewhat irrational’, but said it was needed to head off the risk of a wider lockdown. He told Sky News: ‘It’s going to cause pain and suffering for us all to go back to some degree of lockdown but I’m afraid if we don’t do this now we’re going to be right back in hard lockdown.’

Asked what he meant by ‘irrational’, Prof Openshaw said: ‘I think people have been complaining widely about the fact that you can carry on doing things like exercising in groups and doing sports and getting together for special events, but yet you can’t have both a grandmother and a grandfather come to visit your home if you’re a family-of-five.

‘It is inevitably going to create those difficulties which are hard to explain.’

People with large families have also urged ministers to rethink the restrictions so young children are excluded.

Sarah Pearson, 41, from Norwich, has six children. The rule means she would face a fine of £100 if as a group they meet anyone outside the family. She said: ‘We are already being careful. It’s another thing that separates them from friends.’      

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