Newcastle to gain new lockdown-like restrictions from Friday

Andrew Cummings
September 20, 2020

In Gateshead, we are bang in the middle of the area which will be put under strict new lockdown restrictions from midnight - no mixing of households, and pubs and bars to close at 10pm.

After the United Kingdom government imposed strict restrictions in northeast England on Thursday, the government Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government is prepared for another lockdown "if we need to".

Tougher Covid-19 regulations, confirmed to include Durham, will come into force at midnight tonight in response to a rise in cases in the North East. A further 21 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours - taking the total to 41,705.

On Monday, seven councils in the North East asked for new restrictions to be imposed.

"We're prepared to do what it takes both to protect lives and to protect livelihoods", Hancock told the BBC.

Speaking in the Commons, Hancock said that from tomorrow, in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham, residents "should not socialize with other people outside their own households or support bubble".

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said, "Unless we get on with this now, we are facing a bigger problem down the line which could end up in a full lockdown".

Almost two million people in the northeast of the country are facing fresh restrictions as coronavirus cases in the region increase.

Outlining the plans, communities secretary Robert Jenrick said yesterday: "The number of cases has been rising rapidly in many parts of the country, but in particular in the North East, and so a decision has been made to impose further restrictions there".

It comes after local measures in the likes of Greater Manchester and Birmingham have been put in place in a bid to address rising rates of infection.

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