WHEN Nicola Sturgeon announced tighter Covid restrictions for Scotland over the festive period, there was speculation in the media that large numbers of people would cross the Border to enjoy traditional New Year celebrations.

There were no rules to stop people travelling across the Border to party – but the public were warned by John Swinney that this wouldn’t be within the “spirit” of the Scottish Government’s regulations.

With large events called off, hospitality venues ordered to provide table-service only and nightclubs closed, one newspaper even predicted “the biggest Celtic invasion of England since Braveheart”.

READ MORE: Young people cross English borders to celebrate New Year without Covid restrictions

However, new data published by the Scotsman found that there is no evidence to support claims that Scots flocked south for New Year.

The main train operators – LNER, Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express – and coach services did not report any increase in numbers of passengers travelling.

Meanwhile traffic flow at the M6 and A1 crossing sites matched data for the 2019/20 pre-lockdown New Year.

At Greta, some 13,273 vehicles crossed this year compared to 13,266 then, and at Burnmouth, the figures were 4382 vs 4625.

The National:

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is due to update Scots on the current restrictions later this month.

She said during a Holyrood announcement this week that she is hopeful she’ll be able to lift crowd restrictions from January 17.

The Scottish Government took the decision a fortnight ago to limit attendances at outdoor events to 500, in a bid to slow the transmission of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

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The move effectively placed the country’s top-flight football and rugby behind closed doors and prompted the Scottish Professional Football League to bring forward the cinch Premiership’s winter break to coincide with the crowd caps.