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Brits have been urged not to take messy "Booze Cruise" trips to Tier 1 hotspot the Isle of Wight ahead of the first weekend under the new system.

Only three parts of the England have been put under Tier 1 under the new system, meaning people in those areas can enjoy the most relaxed rules within the country.

Tier 1 areas of Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, have raised concerns that Brits will travel from other regions so they can hit up the pubs, which are allowed to open even if they aren't serving food.

The Rule of Six also applies within Tier 1 areas, meaning up to six members of different households can mix both indoors and outdoors and last orders will be called at 10pm, although people will have until 11pm to finish their pints.

Pubs in Tier 2 cannot serve alcohol without a substantial meal and in Tier 3 can only serve takeaways.

Ahead of the Island's first weekend under the lightest Tier 1 controls, Councillor Dave Stewart said he was deeply alarmed to hear reports suggesting people might be planning to visit the island for drinking sessions.

Councillor Stewart said: "Suggestions of so-called 'booze cruises' visiting the Island are completely irresponsible and, I hope, ill-founded.

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"We are working hard with the police and the ferry companies to put out messages that such behaviour is totally irresponsible and we will be supporting local businesses in managing any groups in a Covid-secure way that arrive with this intent.

"Our message is that wherever you live it’s important to play your part by following the rules. All we ask is that anyone coming over from Tier 2 must remember that the Tier 1 rules do not apply to them and they must follow their own tier’s rules.”

Cornwall Council leader Julian German said: “We know the lockdown has been tough on both residents and businesses and we want to keep the new rules as simple as possible for anyone who lives and works on a border between two different tiers in the South West.

“Our message is that wherever you live it’s important to play your part by following the rules. All we ask is that anyone coming over from Tier 2 must remember that the Tier 1 rules do not apply to them and they must follow their own tier’s rules.”

Rachel Wigglesworth, director of public health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “We’d also urge people to remember the basic guidelines too – wear a face covering when required, wash your hands regularly, keep two metres away from people where possible and follow the ‘rule of six’.

“The guidance is there to ensure the virus is not given the opportunity to spread further. Only by respecting the rules and each other can we keep Covid-19 at bay and look forward to a time when we can all enjoy socialising more freely."

  • Pubs
  • Coronavirus
  • Lockdown

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