New Years Eve was different this year for many people, with social distancing regulations curtailing the social plans that would normally have taken place..
Another group it was different for was a bizarre crowd who formed outside London’s St Thomas’s Hospital.
A&E doctor Matthew Lee tweeted a clip of what appeared to be a group of protesters outside the hospital on New Year’s Eve. Most people in the footage appeared to be without masks and some were heard chanting “Covid is a hoax!" It’s not clear whether they were all protesters or simply congregating together, but some signs were visible as well as plenty of beer cans clutched in hands.
Lee wrote: "Worked the late A&E SHO shift on NYE and came out to this. Hundreds of maskless, drunk people in huge groups shouting "Covid is a hoax", literally outside the building where hundreds are sick and dying. Why do people still not realise the seriousness of this pandemic?"
St Thomas’s Hospital is one of the busiest hospitals in London. Earlier this year, prime minister Boris Johnson thanked the staff for “saving his life” after he was hospitalised with Covid-19. On New Year’s Eve, Londoners were told to avoid gathering in groups outside and banned from any indoor household mixing under the Tier 4 regulations.
Piers Morgan tweeted the clip and said he was “seething” about it.
Other Twitter users described the footage as “disgusting”, “selfish” and “heartbreaking”.
It’s not clear when Tier 4 restrictions in London or the rest of the country will be relaxed. Both Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock have refused to rule out that tough restrictions may remain in place until Easter, until enough of the population have received the vaccine.