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Some NYE events scaled back due to COVID surge

Posted at 7:20 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 23:20:04-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The local surge in COVID cases has some restaurants and venues altering their New Year's Eve events.

Meanwhile, other businesses move forward with their celebrations.

The Shakespeare Pub and Grill on International Restaurant Row in Mission Hills rings in the new year earlier than most restaurants in San Diego.

"We have on all of our TVs on the countdown from London live," Nikki McEwan-Beatty, the General Manager, said

McEwan-Beatty said they celebrate the British and Irish New Year, which begins at 4 p.m. local time.

"We will have a piper and a drummer that will pipe in the new year, which is a traditional Hogmanay celebration from Scotland," she said.

It's a tradition the pub has done since 1990. However, McEwan-Beatty said they were unable to do it in 2020 because of the pandemic.

"This time last year, we were all out of work, so from a staffing point of view, we’re all just happy to be here this year," she said.

This year's events come as San Diego County reports a record-high of nearly 6,000 new COVID cases this week.

McEwan-Beatty said they do take the pandemic seriously but still wanted to do something after missing out last year.

"Our staff have worn masks throughout even when it wasn't mandated by the state. We do temperature checks at the start of each shift, and we're very, very cautious," said McEwan-Beatty.

"I always spend Christmas in England and come back here [San Diego] for New Year's," said Martin Fincham.

Fincham has brought in the new year at the Shakespeare Pub for the past ten years.

He admits the surge in cases almost stopped him from continuing the tradition.

However, he said he feels better protected being fully vaccinated and boosted.

"We figured we can figure it out and try and stay safe, and if it gets too crowded for us, then we'll leave," said Fincham.

Meanwhile, Mo's Grill and Bar in Hillcrest moved its midnight balloon drop from indoors to their open-air patio, as well as limited capacity.

Humphreys Half Moon Inn canceled both of its New Year's Eve parties.

County officials suggest downloading the CA Notify app to receive alerts if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.