PARTYGOERS were queuing down the street on New Year's Eve to enter one Hereford nightclub, despite concerns over rising Covid cases nationally.

But there were measures in place at Play Nightclub Hereford last night as the venue tried to keep revellers as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.

At 10pm last night, revellers were seen queuing down Blue School Street as far as Commercial Road to enter the club.

With a walk-through metal detector outside the club, similar to what you might see at airport security, as well as ID and Covid pass checks, people queued to get into the venue for its New Year's Eve party.

Currently, in England, rules are that nightclubs and other large events check that revellers have either been double jabbed or have tested negative with a lateral flow test recently.


As well as those national measures, Play Nightclub Hereford, owned by REKOM UK, said it had quality ventilation with air changes every few minutes and heightened sanitisation throughout.

Its New Year's Eve party, called Glitter and Glam, was thought to be a sell-out, with DJ and producer PIX3L KID providing the soundtrack.

The streets did not look as busy as a typical New Year as a wave of the Omicron variant continues to sweep the country which has led some to stay away from pubs, clubs and restaurants.

Restrictions on freedom “must be an absolute last resort”, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said, as a health boss warned that the prevalence of the Omicron coronavirus variant could prompt hospital managers to close wards to visitors.

Mr Javid and NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor agreed that the record-breaking Omicron wave of infection will “test the limits of finite NHS capacity even more than a typical winter”, with reports suggesting a requirement to work from home in England could be in place for most of January.

And Mr Taylor said some hospitals could be forced to exclude visitors as part of the “difficult choices” made to stymie the spread of Omicron on wards.


It came as figures showed that hospital admissions in England have risen to their highest level since January 2021, while the number of NHS hospital staff absent due to the virus nearly doubled in a month.

A further 189,846 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded in the UK on Friday, another new daily record, as the British Medical Association called for further public health measures “urgently to prevent the health service being completely overwhelmed”.

In Herefordshire, the Covid infection rate for the seven days to December 26 was 692.6 cases per 100,000 people. That was far below the UK average of 1,253.8.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a Cambridge University statistician and Government adviser, said the actual number of daily cases across the country could be closer to half a million.

Mr Javid, writing in the Daily Mail, said England had “welcomed in 2022 with some of the least restrictive measures in Europe”, with the UK Government at odds with the devolved nations in choosing to keep nightclubs open and to allow hospitality to operate without further measures for new year celebrations.

“Curbs on our freedom must be an absolute last resort and the British people rightly expect us to do everything in our power to avert them,” the Health Secretary continued.