POLICE fear a weekend of boozed-up mayhem as revellers plan one final blowout before the new “rule of six” law comes into force.
Forces across the country are bracing themselves for Brits packing into pubs and bars as they enjoy a last gathering of up to 30 people.
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Cops are also readying themselves for an onslaught of illegal raves and huge house parties.
The new Premier League season also kicks off this weekend with fans planning to descend on pubs across the country to watch the action.
But from midnight on Sunday, the number of people allowed to gather in homes and hospitality venues will be slashed from 30 to six.
Under Boris Johnson’s drastic coronavirus measures, those flouting the new rule will be slapped with a £100 fine.
But there are fears some Brits may take the final party too far this weekend amid concerns even tighter restrictions could come into force to stop the current spike in virus cases.
One officer told The Telegraph: “We are worried this weekend is going to be like the last days of Rome.
“If people think they are not going to be allowed to go out and enjoy themselves for the next few months, they are going to go crazy and we will be left picking up the pieces.”
Senior officers have also expressed concern over how to enforce the restrictions alongside a surge in traditional crime.
Brian Booth, the chairman of the Police Federation in West Yorkshire, said: “With crime back up to pre-Covid levels, we are flat out again doing the everyday things such as dealing with stabbings, shootings, drug dealers, missing people etc, and so if we are going to be asked to focus on enforcement, something else will have to give.
“We do not have the capacity to be going around pubs to ensure they are complying with the law so for this to work effectively it is going to be largely down to the public to police themselves.”
Police are now urging people to book tables in pubs ahead of the weekend – especially fans planning to watch the start of the new season.
Supporters have also been warned not to travel to football stadiums, where games are being played behind closed doors.
It comes amid a surge in illegal raves across the UK during the pandemic.
Last month, 600 revellers stormed Borehamwood, Herts, with the unlicensed event ending in violence after fighting erupted.
And in Wales, 3,000 party-goers raved for 30 hours in a forest as desperate police fought to shut the event down.
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Martin Hewitt, the chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “As we start to see a rise in infections, it is vitally important that we all follow the regulations and restrictions in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Everyone has a role to play limiting the outbreak by following the regulations, including those about gatherings which are now limited to six people both indoors and outside.
“Officers will continue to be out in communities, engaging, explaining and encouraging people to act responsibly. We will take enforcement action where necessary.”
A restaurant worker wakes up a dozing reveller in Cardiff last night[/caption]