New Year’s Eve in Birmingham, and the impact of Tier 4 COVID restrictions is all too apparent.
Occasional fireworks, and a rainbow of lasers, light up the sky, and optimistic taxi drivers line up on ranks in the city centre.
But the bars are closed, the restaurants have their shutters down, and the nightclubs are quiet. Only the takeaways are open, their customers walking home with familiar white plastic bags through the eerily quiet streets.
On any other New Year’s Eve, these same streets would be thronging with people. The city centre would entertain tens of thousands of party-goers. The bars and restaurants taking hundreds of thousands of pounds on one of their busiest nights of the year.
And bubbles would only be mentioned when talking about champagne.
But not in 2020.
Tier 4 means “stay at home”. No one can meet with any other people indoors, unless they live with them, or are part of a support bubble.