Festive revellers hit pubs and clubs across Britain as Plan B rules come into play and fears over Omicron grow
FESTIVE revellers have hit the pubs and clubs across the UK tonight as Plan B rules come into force and fears grow over the spread of Omicron.
Brits enjoyed a night on the town as they continued to celebrate Christmas parties and a festive tipple with friends.
Despite the chilly temperatures and concerns over Omicron, Brits packed out pubs and bars in true festive style on the last Friday before vaccine passports come into play.
Boozy revellers in Newcastle took to the streets wearing superhero outfits, while others donned reindeer antlers and Christmas jumpers.
And partygoers in Leeds dolled up in glam dresses and thigh-high boots to kick off the festivities.
One woman even braved the 3C temperatures in a plunging black jumpsuit.
It comes amid fears Christmas bashes could be cancelled to curb the spread of the new Covid super-strain.
There have been 1,265 Omicron cases so far in the UK, but none has yet been admitted to hospital.
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Health chiefs said the results were “not as bad as we feared” and it is now mission critical for the booster rollout.
And Downing Street said there were "no plans" to go harder than the Plan B restrictions announced on Wednesday for mandatory masks, working from home and vaccine passports.
Read our Omicron live blog for the latest updates
The NHS Covid pass – obtained by having two jabs or a negative lateral flow test – will be introduced as an entry requirement into nightclubs and other large indoor venues from Wednesday.
The vaccine passport will be needed in all unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people.
The PM's spokesman said: "Obviously we need to keep the characteristics of this variant under review, and we would act if necessary, but there's no plans to go beyond what we set out."
The government is even still officially urging people to press ahead with festive parties and school nativities despite the squeeze.
And it is hoped huge take-up of jabs — especially boosters — will spare Brits from further lockdown misery.
But another 448 cases of the new variant were counted yesterday — nearly double Thursday’s figure, and cases of the mutant strain could hit a million by the New Year.
Scientists estimate the R rate of the variant is 3.7 — meaning every positive person infects another three to four people.
An emergency Cobra meeting was presented with "deeply concerning" data about Omicron, Michael Gove warned on Friday night.
The top Minister said the super-strain accounts for 30 per cent of all cases in London and opened the door to fresh restrictions to stem the rising tide.
Hinting at possible future restrictions, he said: "We need to keep everything under review. I think the approach we are taking is proportionate.
"We recognise the importance of balancing people's abilities to get on with their lives, with the need to protect them against this virus.
"But action is absolutely required, and as new data comes in we will consider what action we do require to take in the face of that data"
It came after the Scottish First Minister tightened rules to stem the spread of the mutation ripping across Britain – blowing a hole in hopes of a normal Christmas.
In a grim warning Nicola Sturgeon said: "To be blunt, because of the much greater and faster transmissibility of this new variant, we may be facing – indeed we may be starting to experience – a potential tsunami of infections."
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