Millions expected to attend illegal parties on NYE
More than 5,000 unlawful parties are expected to take place in the UK over the new year weekend, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has warned.
The association, which represents more than 100 nightclubs, bars and music venues, says there is a risk of “millions of people converging across the UK” from 31 December–3 January, sparking fears of a fresh coronavirus outbreak in January.
The situation, it says, is exacerbated by the ongoing closure of most night-time businesses, which “would normally manage huge crowds of people through the new year’s celebrations”.
Illegal raves have been on the increase across Europe since the summer as frustration builds over coronavirus restrictions preventing legal gatherings.
“There is a growing concern that new year’s eve is going to culminate in social unrest”
“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,” comments Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA.
“We are estimating that the UK will be witness to over 5,000 illegal parties across new year’s eve weekend. 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, so ignoring the issue will not resolve what will be a significant car crash in every sense of the term.”
Parklife promoter and Manchester night czar Sacha Lord adds: “The closure of hospitality venues in tier three, 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.”
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