NEW Year is expected to be busy in Worcester's pubs and restaurants despite the pandemic with partygoers having to present Covid passports at some venues.

Despite some businesses including Hanbao in Foregate Street and the Exchange in The Cornmarket having to close due to Covid infections, other pubs, clubs and restaurants were gearing up for a busy New Year.

However, some business leaders did not expect the day to be as busy as a typical New Year because of concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant while others expressed their thanks to the loyal customers who have supported them through difficult times during the pandemic.

Sin is fully sold out for New Year's Eve according to the Facebook page. A spokesman said on the page: "However; from 1am we will have limited golden tickets available on the door on a first come; first serve basis. Happy new year!"

Anatolian Palance in Crowngate was fully booked before 8pm for New Year's Eve. The owner Archie Serin said: "We are so busy. We are such a popular restaurant."

However, despite being fully booked he said tables might become available later in the evening.

O'Neill's in St Nicholas Street is open and no booking is required for New Year's Eve a spokesman confirmed today.

Alexander's in New Street is to host what organisers described as 'Worcester's biggest New Year's Eve party', charging £10 on the door for entry. However, a Covid passport or negative lateral flow is needed before entry.

Alexander Fell, owner of Alexander's Nightclub and The Brickroom, said all Government regulations would be followed and that tables were fully booked. However, they would be selling tickets on the night.

He said the venue had a capacity of 700 people but, because of Covid-19, he added: "I can't imagine it will be as busy as last year.

"I imagine there's quite a few people who won't come out as usual due to fear of catching Covid."

The Olive Branch Mediterranean Bistro and Wine Bar is also open tonight until late.

Browns at the Quay was offering a three course dinner including glass of fizz on arrival with a DJ from 10pm with bookings taken from 7pm to 8.30pm at cost of £75 per person.

The Feathers in The Tything is open from 1pm to late tonight but will be shut on New Year's Day.

Ounce Bar & Kitchen in The Tything is open. A spokesman said on their Facebook page: "We’ve cooked some meat throughout this year (cut & cooked more since April reopening than we did in 2020 & 2019 put together) and want to thank every single person that’s crossed our red rope! The passion for us to grow, learn and put smiles on faces is more and more everyday!"

A spokesman for Wintrip Brew Company which runs the Oil Basin in Copenhagen Street said: "New year's is upon us. And our love shack is never one to disappoint. No entry charge, vibes, beers, spirits and cuddles."

The Chestnut Tree Inn in Lansdowne Road, Worcester, known for its live music and open mic sessions, is also open.