North East faces local lockdown restrictions on Friday as cases spike – curfew expected | UK | News
The areas expected to be governed by the new restrictions include Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Country Durham and Sunderland. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has said the Government will make a full announcement on the matter tomorrow.
Mr Jenrick told ITV’s Peston on Wednesday: “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.
“And a full announcement will be made tomorrow and so people living in that part of the country should watch out for that.
“And the measures will come into play at midnight on Thursday evening.
“So, over the course of the day a full briefing will be made available to everybody including the councils and business community.”
The new rule will come into effect from Friday morning, which could force pubs, restaurants and other licensed premises to close from 10pm each day, as a curfew is introduced.
But the hospitality venues will be allowed to reopen, unlike in Bolton where pubs and restaurants are take-away only.
Residents of the areas will also be banned from socialising with anyone from a different household.
People will also be asked not to visit care homes unless it is essential, not to attend sporting venues and to avoid public transport except for essential journeys.
The new measures are expected to come into force after midnight on Friday morning in a bid to curb the dramatic rise in coronavirus cases across the region.
It comes after health minister Nadine Dorries met with 22 MPs from north east England earlier today.
Seven local authorities have been urging for new restrictions to be introduced as infections begin to steadly rise.
Speaking earlier this week, Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said: “There is universal concern from council leaders across our region about the exponential rise in Covid cases over the last week.
“Unless we get on with this now, we are facing a bigger problem down the line which could end up in a full lockdown.
“It is better to try to introduce measures which will prevent that, even though that may mean some additional restrictions over the next few weeks.
“We are working with the government on a plan for what those could mean and how we can get those measures in place over the next few weeks to protect our communities and having to go into another prolonged, damaging lockdown.”
Bolton has been subject to local lockdown restrictions since the end of July, and last week Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the area was to be subject to tighter restrictions.
Pubs and restaurants would have to close as indoor venues, and were only allowed to stay open for take-away purposes.
The original ban on people mixing with other households was also made enforceable by law.
Bolton still accounts for the highest rate of coronavirus cases in England.
The weekly rate of new cases of COVID-19 in the area has risen above 200 per 100,000 people, new data shows.
A total of 587 cases were recorded in Bolton in the seven days to September 13, the equivalent of 204.1 cases per 100,000.
This is up from 150 in the previous week.