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Coronavirus: North East faces tighter lockdown restrictions from Friday

Large parts of the North East are set to be subjected to tighter lockdown restrictions that will be announced tomorrow.

The fresh coronavirus restrictions are expected to come into force on Friday.

An MP present at the meeting told Sky News that the areas affected are likely to be Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland.



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It comes after health minister Nadine Dorries met with 22 MPs from NE England – the same day that the UK recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus infections since May.

Measures will include a curfew of 10pm on pubs, restaurants and other licensed venues, as well as banning people from socialising with anyone outside their household, according to the Newcastle Chronicle.

Other restrictions, which are set to be announced but have not yet been confirmed, include people being told not to travel on holiday with other households and sports fans being advised not to attend games.

The paper added that only essential visitors will be able to visit care homes and, except for essential journeys, public transport use and car-sharing will be discouraged at peak times.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed the move to impose more restrictions on ITV’s Peston on Wednesday evening.

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes tweeted: “Some additional, temporary restrictions are being planned to prevent another full lockdown.”

In a reply to another Twitter user, Mr Forbes added: “We are waiting confirmation from government on the final version of the regulations; I am expecting an announcement by the health secretary at 11am tomorrow.”

Up to the 13 September, the two-week infection rate per 100,000 in the areas facing new restrictions, according to Sky News data, are:

  • Sunderland: 155.7
  • South Tyneside: 155.1
  • Gateshead: 139.7
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne: 116.3
  • North Tyneside: 85
  • County Durham: 70.2
  • Northumberland: 47.1

Labour MP for North Durham, Kevan Jones, told Sky News: “It’s added to the farcical way the government has handled this. The issue in the North East needs to be addressed as numbers are rising but testing in the North East is a shambles.”

Mr Jones added that local authorities should be given control of the test and trace service.

It becomes the latest area to face more lockdown restrictions in an attempt to get COVID-19 under control, following the announcement earlier on Wednesday that Rhondda Cynon Taf in Wales would face a local lockdown.

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