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Locals on the Isles of Scilly bid farewell to 2020 from the only three pubs open in England

Revellers on the Isles of Scilly are bidding farewell to 2020 from the only three pubs open in England as the archipelago remains in Tier 1. 

The islands are the only areas in England under the most-relaxed level of Covid restrictions – meaning pubs, bars and restaurants are open for sit-in customers.

There are normally around a dozen pubs on the archipelago but a number have closed this year, leaving the islands’ 2,000-strong population with few options for welcoming in 2021 – but more than those on the mainland.

The rest of the country is under Tier 3 and Tier 4 meaning only takeaways are permitted – and meeting indoors with members of different households is banned.  

Restrictions have also cancelled traditional celebrations and firework shows, forcing Britons to set off their own back-garden displays.

Revellers on the Isles of Scilly (pictured) are bidding farewell to 2020 from the only three pubs open in England as the archipelago remains in Tier 1

Revellers on the Isles of Scilly (pictured) are bidding farewell to 2020 from the only three pubs open in England as the archipelago remains in Tier 1  

Revellers - some wearing fancy dress - welcome 2021 in a pub as the Isles of Scilly remains in Tier 1

Revellers – some wearing fancy dress – welcome 2021 in a pub as the Isles of Scilly remains in Tier 1

The islands are the only areas in England under the most-relaxed level of Covid restrictions - meaning pubs, bars and restaurants are open for sit-in customers (revellers, pictured)

The islands are the only areas in England under the most-relaxed level of Covid restrictions – meaning pubs, bars and restaurants are open for sit-in customers (revellers, pictured) 

There are normally around a dozen pubs on the archipelago but a number have closed this year, leaving the islands' 2,000-strong population with few options for welcoming in 2021 (pictured) - but more than those on the mainland

There are normally around a dozen pubs on the archipelago but a number have closed this year, leaving the islands’ 2,000-strong population with few options for welcoming in 2021 (pictured) – but more than those on the mainland

Pub-goers smile for a picture in one of three pubs open across England as swathes of the country is under Tier 3 and 4 lockdown

Pub-goers smile for a picture in one of three pubs open across England as swathes of the country is under Tier 3 and 4 lockdown

Fireworks lit up the sky over Newcastle tonight in an incredible display watched by thousands from their windows. 

Normally-bustling Trafalgar Square in London was eerily deserted with officials putting up barriers to keep rule breakers away. 

But some Londoner’s appeared to push their luck with crowds gathering in Piccadilly Circus and on Westminster Bridge. 

Under Tier 4 rules only two people from different households can meet outdoors, but police were seen speaking to crowds of at least five.

Scotland’s traditional Hogmanay celebrations have been moved online this year, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier warning people to celebrate ‘responsibly and in line with the restrictions’.

Revellers are seen in The Mermaid pub on St Mary's. It is one of only three pubs open in England

Revellers are seen in The Mermaid pub on St Mary’s. It is one of only three pubs open in England

The rest of the country is under Tier 3 and Tier 4 meaning only takeaways are permitted - and meeting indoors with members of different households is banned. Pictured: Revellers welcoming in the new year on the Isles of Scilly

The rest of the country is under Tier 3 and Tier 4 meaning only takeaways are permitted – and meeting indoors with members of different households is banned. Pictured: Revellers welcoming in the new year on the Isles of Scilly

New Year's Eve celebrations on St Mary's island were able to go ahead as it is in Tier 1

New Year’s Eve celebrations on St Mary’s island were able to go ahead as it is in Tier 1

A group of women pose with their drinks in the Mermaid pub on St Mary's. The island forms part of the Isles of Scilly which is under Tier 1

A group of women pose with their drinks in the Mermaid pub on St Mary’s. The island forms part of the Isles of Scilly which is under Tier 1

Partygoers smiled as they welcomed in the new year. The rest of England is under Tier 3 or 4 lockdown

Partygoers smiled as they welcomed in the new year. The rest of England is under Tier 3 or 4 lockdown

She added: ‘To be clear, and I take no pleasure in saying this, that means no gatherings, no house parties, no first-footing. Instead, we should bring in 2021 in our own homes with just our own households.’  

Earlier today, locals on the Isles of Scilly – whose principle islands include St Mary’s, Tresco, St Martin’s, St Agnes and Bryher – urged ‘selfish people’ not to attempt to travel there to escape lockdown.

In a message posted after the changes to Tiers were revealed by the Healthy Secretary Matt Hancock, the islands’ council made a warning shot at anyone considering travelling to the islands or hosting a rule-breaking gathering.

A group of revellers pose with their drinks on the St Mary's island as they prepare to welcome 2021

A group of revellers pose with their drinks on the St Mary’s island as they prepare to welcome 2021

The Isles of Scilly (revellers on St Mary's, pictured) is the only region in England under Tier 1

The Isles of Scilly (revellers on St Mary’s, pictured) is the only region in England under Tier 1

In a tweet the council said: ‘As we have previously advised, just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should, so please consider the Prime Minister’s advice to “see in the New Year safely at home”.’

Jonathan Smith, a councillor for St Martin’s who also runs a small organic fruit and vegetable farm, said remaining in the lowest tier of restrictions is a relief but ‘no great surprise’ as they have had no recorded Covid-19 cases since September.

‘It’s an interesting paradox that Scilly remains the only place left in Tier 1,’ he said.

‘We are probably the place in the country for fewest options for travel, shopping and eating out in the winter months.’

Mr Smith added that Scilly had struggled over the summer as most of its economy is tourism-based, but stressed that outsiders should not travel to the islands for a ‘New Year or winter holiday’.

LONDON: The rest of England - which is under harsher lockdown rules - was a different story. The brightly-lit Christmas tree in Trafalgar square in the capital stood alone as large barriers blocked off rule-breaking pedestrians

LONDON: The rest of England – which is under harsher lockdown rules – was a different story. The brightly-lit Christmas tree in Trafalgar square in the capital stood alone as large barriers blocked off rule-breaking pedestrians

LONDON: Normally-bustling Trafalgar Square in London was eerily deserted with officials putting up barriers to keep rule breakers away

LONDON: Normally-bustling Trafalgar Square in London was eerily deserted with officials putting up barriers to keep rule breakers away

EDINBURGH: Scotland's traditional Hogmanay celebrations have been moved online this year leaving streets deserted (pictured), with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier warning people to celebrate 'responsibly and in line with the restrictions'

EDINBURGH: Scotland’s traditional Hogmanay celebrations have been moved online this year leaving streets deserted (pictured), with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier warning people to celebrate ‘responsibly and in line with the restrictions’

Linda Thomas, a 69-year-old librarian from St Mary’s, said the news is ‘no time for jubilation’ as residents worry about their relatives on the mainland and the risk of the virus coming to the isles – which only have one small hospital and a high elderly population.

‘Having seen our family and friends in Cornwall go from a Tier 1 to a Tier 3 in under a week because of mindless selfish people from higher tiers travelling down is very disturbing,’ Ms Thomas told the PA news agency.

‘We know that some of these people were heading to the islands and I have no doubt that some made it.’

Another islander, Barbara Simpson, 78, said: ‘Those who freely admit they have come to Scilly to get away from the virus obviously have no idea (or don’t care) of the risk they pose to us.

‘The total lack of awareness and arrogance of these people is staggering.’

Both women said they would not be visiting a pub or restaurant for New Year’s Eve on the island even though they will be open, with the rule of six and table service in place. 

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