The new year arrived with more of a whimper than a bang for most Scots after mass events were cancelled, nightclubs closed and thousands of families self-isolated.
For the second year, restrictions meant Scotland’s famed celebrations were cancelled after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged people to “stay at home as much as possible” as the Omicron variant spread.
Some Scots crossed the border to England – where rules are more relaxed – to bring in 2022 in Newcastle and Carlisle but most stayed close to home.
Yann Besombes, general manager of The Halston hotel and restaurant in Carlisle, said: “I had some people coming at the last minute from Glasgow and the Central Belt. It’s been a challenging time so we are happy to see them.
“Carlisle is Carlisle and I think people would have rather stayed in Glasgow but, yes, they just want to have a bit of fun.”
While many Scots had a quiet one, the start of 2022 was more momentous for Nicola McCann and her partner Jamie Black who became parents to son Aiden, born on the stroke of midnight at Glasgow’s Princess Royal Maternity Hospital. The tot weighed in at 3lb 8oz, after being born some seven weeks early, but hospital staff said he was doing well.
Others arrived in Scotland from overseas. Brenda Jane Baxter-Vell from Zimbabwe travelled to Edinburgh with her friend Captain Kevin Pope. She lost her husband to Covid in November and her father earlier in the year.
Speaking outside a bar on the Royal Mile, she said they were disappointed to miss the torchlight march to Calton Hill, but added: “We have a lot of family history in Scotland and will spend our time tracking it down.”
A fireworks display went ahead at the Wallace Monument outside Stirling, as did one in Oban. Organised by business group Bid4Oban, the event attracted criticism from some in the town who said it risked public health by drawing crowds.
In England by contrast, people packed out pubs clubs and restaurants in all the major cities after the UK government refused to bring in new Covid restrictions during the festive period. The bong of Big Ben – the first in four years – was accompanied by a spectacular display of fireworks, drones, and a light show in London.
The traditional big events in the capital were cancelled however, such as the usual party in Trafalgar Square but tens of thousands were seen out in popular areas such as Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Soho.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe