PUBS in the Isle of Scilly will ID punters to catch Tier 3 and 4 gatecrashers this New Year’s Eve, who face a £200 fine for flouting the rules.
Lucky revellers in Britain’s only Tier 1 zone can celebrate the end of a miserable year – but they must be out by 11pm.
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Large swathes of England were plunged into Tier 3 and 4 restrictions which means all hospitality venues must remain shut.
But cops have warned people plotting to cross the water to the Tier 1 Scilly Isles to stay away – as pubs vowed to catch rule-breakers at the door.
People aged 18 or over can be fined £200 for the first offence, lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days, £400 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £6,400.
Nigel, 58, a barman at The Atlantic Inn on St Mary's, caught two intruders from Tier 3 Northampton earlier in the week.
He said: "We are slowly filling up.
"Because of restrictions we won't be full, but it's filling up quite quickly. People are enjoying themselves.
"It's just the strangers that have come over. We have had to refuse a couple of people from Tier 3 this week. They were from Northampton.
"They were not locals and you know who your winter trade are. I asked them where they were from."
The Mermaid Inn is also due to be packed revellers tonight, with around 40 people booked to enjoy a three-course £28-a-head meal and a glass of prosecco in the pub's restaurant.
The Mermaid's manager Dan Latham, 33, said: "I have been over here a couple of years now so you kind of get to know everyone.
"If we don't know them we will check. No-one apart from anyone from the Isles of Scilly should be in this pub anymore.
"If we don't recognise them we know they aren't from here.
"No-one apart from anyone from the Isles of Scilly should be in this pub anymore.
"If we don't recognise them we know they aren't from here."
Thirsty punters were already downing pints at midday today as the New Year's festivities started early.
But with just 2,000 locals living on the islands, it will be easy to spot intruders sneaking in from the mainland's higher tiers.
Beth Sims, 18, a barmaid at The Old Town Inn, said:"We have had a few people try [and sneak over], not in this pub.
"And when they came over on the plane they have been stopped. We are checking people's addresses."
Cops have also warned Brits not to travel to the Isle of Scilly to enjoy the festivities.
Two flights are leaving Land's End Airport for St Mary's Airport this afternoon, with both fully booked.
The Scillonian ferry isn't running during winter, but last week police turned back five people who flew to St Mary's from the mainland on Christmas Eve.
'RULES ARE CLEAR'
Superintendent Jo Arundale, Local Policing Commander for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “The rules are clear and it is for the public to take responsibility for their actions and to adhere to the current restrictions that are in place.
“No-one from Tier 3 can travel to the Isles of Scilly to stay overnight bar limited exceptions.
"You cannot attend a pub or mix under tier 1 regulations; you must adhere to the restrictions that you are residing within.
“It is illegal to leave Tier 4 areas to travel to the island, so those who attempt to can expect to be spoken to by officers and face the real prospect of being turned away and fined."
Meanwhile, many locals are flocking to Fraggle Rock boozer tonight on Bryher – one of the smaller islands of the Scilly Isles.
Landlord Chris Hopkins, 65, said wife Sue is poised in the kitchen ready to rustle up a huge tasty batch of chilli con carne for partygoers.
And the festivities will kick off with a bout of bingo in aid of NHS charities – with pub chief Chris calling the shots.
He told The Sun: “It’s strange thinking we are one of the few pubs in England able to celebrate the New Year, but it will be a very low-key affair with a dozen or so people.
“We’ll start the night with a few games of charity bingo, with me doing the honours.
“I’ve not quite learned my legs eleven and two sitting ducks just yet, but I’ll make it up as I go along.
“And then our guests can tuck into our fantastic chilli that Sue has lovingly been taking care of.
“It’s going to be one of the more sedate New Year’s Eves we’ve had but we’re lucky just to be able to celebrate together.”
Pub owner boasts he has the ‘safest boozer in Britain’ – because it’s only accessible by boat
A PUB landlord reckons his boozer is the safest in Britain because it’s on a remote island and only accessible by boat.
Chris Hopkins, 65, pulls pints at the Fraggle Rock Bar on the Isles of Scilly, 100km from the mainland.
Punters can only reach Chris’ pub by boat – which runs twice a day – to the Scillionian island Bryher.
The Scilly Isles is in Tier One, which means up to six residents can meet indoors and out and drink as much as they like without a substantial meal.
Chris told The Sun: “We’ve got to be the safest pub in Britain, I pull less than ten pints a day and we have less than 100 permanent residents.”
The Fraggle Rock bar is local to just 80 permanent residents on the island of Bryher.
But customers must make sure they’ve finished their pints by 4.45pm for the last boat.
Landlord Chris usually pulls less than ten pints a day and the pub fits a snug maximum of 30 drinkers.
Tier 1 coronavirus rules mean pubs have to stop serving alcohol to punters by 10pm.
But they can remain inside boozers for another hour after that.
Chris said: “We’ll have some prosecco on hand and some booze before 10pm but we won’t be able to stay open until the countdown to 2021 unfortunately.”
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