Boris Johnson takes swipe at Sturgeon and Drakeford
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Boris Johnson has refused to shut down England’s New Year celebrations, in stark contrast to the devolved nations. Unlike in England, where venues are being allowed to remain open, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish government has cancelled large gatherings and shut down nightclubs. Party-goers will be able to herald in 2022 without table service-only or mask-wearing requirements.
This has prompted reports of thousands of people travelling across the border from Wales and Scotland into England to celebrate the New Year.
Boris Johnson refused to discourage the border travel, simply saying: “I think 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.”
This appears to be a dig at his Scottish and Welsh counterparts – Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford.
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The Welsh and Scottish leaders have been accused of jumping the gun on imposing coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Johnson was speaking during a visit to a Covid vaccination centre in Milton Keynes, England.
The Prime Minister again urged people to take up the booster jab offer, saying: “We’re looking at the data and what we’re seeing is that we’ve got cases certainly going up, we’ve got a lot of cases of Omicron.
“But, on the other hand, we can see the data about the relative mildness of Omicron.
Boris Johnson urges UK to enjoy New Year 'sensibly and cautiously'
“What we can also see is the very, very clear effect of getting those jabs, getting those boosters in particular – and that’s what’s making a huge difference.”
Earlier this morning, on BBC Breakfast, John Swinney, Scotland’s deputy first minister, urged Scottish revellers not to travel to England for New Year’s Eve
He said travelling to England to bypass the closure of all nightclubs in Scotland would be the “wrong course of action” and went against the spirit of Scottish policy.
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Mr Swinney explained: “People are free to take those decisions, but I would discourage them from doing so.
“I think it is the wrong course of action for people to take because we have a serious situation we have got to manage and we encourage everybody to play their part in addressing that.”
Greg Mulholland, from the Campaign for Pubs, said as many as 100,000 could cross the borders for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
He told The Sun: “We need a more coordinated, common-sense approach. It’s confusing for the many thousands of people who live near a border, and frustrating for publicans in Scotland and Wales.”
Ms Sturgeon is due to update the Scottish parliament later today and may unveil further restrictions amid mounting case numbers in Scotland.
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