‘Be cautious!’ Labour MP says Brits should celebrate NYE safely vowing ‘boring night in’

Lucy Powell urges Brits to enjoy 'cautious' New Year's

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Lucy Powell, the Shadow Culture Secretary admitted she will be having a “a boring night in” as she pleaded with Britons to test before they dash out to enjoy themselves, stressing testing is “absolutely critical” to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus over New Year.

Ms Powell told Sky News on Thursday: “I think people should be cautious about their New Year but do it in a safe way.

“If you are taking a test before you go out, if you are somewhere that requires a covid pass to do so.

“Wear a mask on public transport and in venues.

She added how if Brits can get access to a test, given the current shortages, “it is absolutely critical” that they test before heading out.

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Asked about reports of up to 100,000 Scots making plans to travel over the border into England on New Year due to tight restrictions in Scotland, Ms Powell said the issue was not for her to comment on.

But she said regardless of the plans of others, she is having “a very boring night in on my now”

The Labour MP for Manchester Central stressed how the guidance in England was to “be cautious” which she said is “the right approach to be taking”.

But she stressed: “Let’s keep a watchful eye on it.”

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It comes as a lack of COVID-19 tests could lead to people mixing on New Year’s Eve without being able to tell whether they are infectious, a leading scientist has warned.

Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) told Radio 4’s Today programme that shortage of lateral flow tests was “very worrying”.

He added how New Year’s parties could also create the “perfect” conditions for COVID-19 to spread.

Professor Openshaw said: “I think it’s very worrying indeed…

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“But we do know that crowding together in poorly ventilated spaces, particularly if you are shouting over loud music and so on…

“Is absolutely perfect in terms of transmitting this very, very highly transmissible virus.”

It comes as 137,422 cases of COVID-19 were recorded on Wednesday 29, down from Tuesdays figure of 116,310.

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have now implemented social distancing restrictions in hospitality venues, all three have shut nightclubs.

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