What are Covid rules in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?

Ministers have confirmed that no new Covid-19 restrictions will be imposed in England before the new year.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, told reporters there will be “no further measures before the new year”, adding: “Of course people should remain cautious as we approach new year celebrations and take a lateral flow test if that makes sense, celebrate outdoors if you can, have some ventilation indoors if you can.”

It puts England at odds with the rest of the United Kingdom in how people will be allowed to ring in the new year. Here is what you can, and cannot, do:

There will be limits on the size of live public events for three weeks beginning 26 December. Indoor events will be limited to 100 standing or 200 seated, while outdoors events will be limited to 500 seated or standing.

This means many public New Year’s Eve celebrations in Scotland, including Edinburgh’s main Hogmanay street party, have been cancelled.

Nightclubs will be closed for three weeks from 27 December. Pubs, bars and other settings where alcohol is being served will return to table service only. One-metre social distancing will be enforced in all indoor hospitality and leisure settings.

In England, Covid passes for nightclubs and other venues have been in place as of 15 December. People are required to show they have been vaccinated or recently tested negative (or are exempt) to gain entry.

This applies to indoor events with 500 or more attenders where people are likely to stand or move around, such as music venues, certain outdoor events, such as music festivals, and any events with 10,000 or more in attendance.

Face coverings are compulsory in most indoor public venues, including theatres and cinemas as well as on public transport and in shops. Masks are not required in pubs or restaurants.

People wishing to celebrate in pubs, cinemas and restaurants must do so in groups of six or fewer. Licensed premises will be restricted to table service only, face masks will have to be worn and contact tracing details collected.

Social distancing of two metres will be in place and nightclubs are closed from Boxing Day. Large events will not be allowed, with a maximum of 30 people in indoor events and a maximum of 50 people at outdoor events.

From Boxing Day, nightclubs will be closed and indoor standing events are banned. Dancing is banned in hospitality venues, but this will not apply to weddings.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be restricted to table service only and a maximum of six people (or 10 from a single household) are allowed at a table. This excludes children aged 12 and under.

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