Surprise London fireworks and light show usher in the New Year as whole nation hopes for a brighter 2021

SURPRISE London fireworks and a light show have ushered in the New Year as the whole nation hopes for a brighter 2021.

The night sky was lit up over the capital tonight in a spectacular display.

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PA:Press Association

Fireworks were set off in London tonight[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Fireworks were let off in London to mark the New Year[/caption]

Reuters

A light show is seen over Tower Bridge[/caption]

PA:Press Association

The spectacular sight lit up the night sky[/caption]

Rick Findler

Fireworks over South West London tonight[/caption]

Reuters

Fireworks on Tower Bridge tonight[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

People gather on Everton Brow overlooking Liverpool to welcome 2021[/caption]

Splash News

Friends share a drink on Primrose Hill in London[/caption]

w8media

Cops speak to a group of people in Leicester Square in London[/caption]

AFP or licensors

Groups of people gather together at Piccadilly Circus[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Police next to the statue of Eros in Piccadilly ask a man to move along[/caption]

North News and Pictures

Pals get a takeaway drink in Newcastle[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

A couple pose for a picture in front of the London Eye[/caption]

Duncan McGlynn

Pals use sparklers to display the year 2021 on Edinburgh Castle’s esplanade in Scotland[/caption]

The fireworks came despite the traditional London show being banned due to the Covid pandemic.

The new year ‘2021’ was illuminated into the darkness, alongside a flying bird.

A light display was also projected from the Tower Bridge.

Some determined revellers flouted strict lockdown rules and headed out to mark the end of 2020.

However, cops were out in force to move them along and keep the streets empty – with fines of up to £10,000 threatened for those who break the rules.

Strict Covid rules mean there will be none of the usual New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Pubs and restaurants are shut across the nation as 20million people went into Tier 4 this morning, meaning no mixing is allowed outside of household or support bubbles.

Streets in Central London are empty this evening, with usually-bustling areas in the capital eerily quiet.

Central city areas – usually hubs of mass celebrations at this time of year – are deserted across the UK.

Publicans across the country have been forced to tip kegs full of beer down the drain, as almost all pubs in the UK will be closed tonight.

Cops have warned the public they will be fining people breaking the rules by meeting up with others tonight – starting with £100 and rising to £10,000 for people having parties.

And they will be focusing their patrols in London on areas with the highest rates of Covid infections too, they said.

Despite the strict rules, a string of illegal New Year’s Eve raves are being secretly planned across Tier 4 London.

Alamy Live News

A large group of New Years Eve revellers have a party on the beach at Eype in Dorset[/caption]

Reuters

A man is detained in South Bank, London tonight[/caption]

Reuters

Cops speak to a woman in London during New Year’s celebrations[/caption]

AFP or licensors

Cops on horseback monitor the streets in London[/caption]

Rex Features

Large crowds gather in South Bank, London, despite Covid restrictions[/caption]

Huw Evans Picture Agency

Empty streets in Cardiff this evening[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Fireworks were set off in Newcastle tonight[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Kegs of beer have gone to waste as pubs are forced to shut[/caption]

w8media

London resembled a ghost town on New Year’s Eve[/caption]

Reuters

A near-empty street in Newcastle tonight[/caption]

w8media

Cops said they will be patrolling to stop any lockdown parties[/caption]

North News and Pictures

Fireworks were let off early in Newcastle this evening[/caption]

Splash News

Pals celebrate the New Year on Primrose Hill in Central London[/caption]

Chris Eades

Trafalgar Square – usually the centre of New Year’s celebrations in London – is boarded up to deter revellers[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Quiet streets in Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

An empty St Pancras station in Central London[/caption]

NB PRESS LTD

Pals head to the off licence to pick up beers[/caption]

Thousands of people are expected to attend the events which could send Covid spreading even faster through the capital. 

Despite officials insisting there will be no fireworks or light shows to mark the New Year, there is speculation there will be some celebrations.

A test display of lights was seen over Tower Bridge in Central London last night.

Meanwhile in Newcastle, fireworks were set off early this evening to avoid crowds gathering later.

Coronavirus cases continue to soar as a mutant strain of the bug sweeps across the UK.

Today, Britain saw its highest ever daily rise in cases with 55,892 infections reported in the past 24 hours.

A further 964 deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of fatalities to 73,512.

The rise in cases means a total of 2,488,780 Brits have now been infected with the bug.

Today’s rise in deaths is only slightly smaller than yesterday’s figure of 981 – the highest daily toll since April – amid fears that the high toll may not be a lag in reporting, as was thought yesterday.

Getty Images – Getty

Empty streets in Manchester tonight[/caption]

Rex Features

The London Eye on New Year’s Eve[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Lights in the night sky on New Year’s Eve seen from Ironbridge, near Telford in Shropshire[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Lucky revellers in Britain’s only Tier 1 area – the Isle Of Scilly – toasted the New Year in pubs[/caption]

London News Pictures

Cops patrol London tonight[/caption]

North News and Pictures

Pals carry pizza and beer in Newcastle[/caption]

Alamy Live News

A rainbow art installation beams over Birmingham[/caption]

w8media

Buckingham Palace on New Year’s Eve[/caption]

Michael Tomas @LondonViewpoints

A test display of lights was seen over Tower Bridge in Central London last night[/caption]

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