New Year’s Eve: In Glasgow and Edinburgh, Hogmanay crowds gather

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There were people gathering at famous Scottish tourist sites at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Crowds were seen at Edinburgh’s Calton Hill and Glasgow’s George Square for impromptu Hogmanay celebrations.

Colin Mearns photo

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, typical festivities, such as Edinburgh’s popular street party, were cancelled, and organizers opted for safer ways to welcome 2021.

With a bang and a sparkling drone display in Edinburgh, Scots welcome 2021

In spite of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s repeated warnings to stay home to celebrate the new year, people gathered.

People were gathering in Hogmanay’s George Square. Colin Mearns photo

Since new regulations came into force on Boxing Day due to concerns about a new, faster-spreading strain of Covid-19, Mainland Scotland has been under level four coronavirus restrictions for almost a week.

On the same day, Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles and several other islands were put on level three in Scotland.

In Edinburgh, an impromptu fireworks show was held on Calton Hill.

Police Scotland echoed warnings by the Scottish government. The BBC was advised by Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham that he needed individuals to take “personal responsibility.”

“The regulations allow small groups of up to six people from just two households together outdoors,” he said.

But we urge people to take personal responsibility for doing the right thing and to use their judgement in these situations as to what is acceptable.

People on Calton Hill in Edinburgh with sparklers. Image: PA

“It’s the case that very often assemblies get bigger, we’ve seen a lot of assemblies out there that have involved far larger groups of more than two households and we will continue to use the approach we have to engage with people,” he said.

“We’ve broken up a lot of those gatherings, and I think in most of the cases we’re dealing with, people know that’s against the rules and it’s unsafe to do that.

“I should also add that the overwhelming majority of people across Scotland have been adamant in complying with these really very restrictive measures and I thank everyone for continuing to do that.”

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