New COVID-19 restrictions come into force for Tyne Tees region

The North East has been placed in the Government's 'high' tier of restrictions. Credit: PA

New COVID-19 restrictions have come into force across the North East and North Yorkshire.

The new three-tier measures for England, announced by the Prime Minister on Monday, came into effect on Wednesday, but the North East and North Yorkshire missed out on being placed under the toughest rules.

The North East is in the 'high' tier, meaning the following restrictions now apply:

  • No mixing between households indoors

  • A 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants

  • Rule of six will apply to any outdoor meetings



Redcar, Darlington and Stockton on Tees are now facing tougher restrictions following the introduction of the new tier restriction system Credit: PA

These new restrictions now also include the Tees Valley, much of which had previously avoided tougher measures.


Further North, the leader of Northumberland Council has hinted that the county could go its own way if tougher restrictions were on the table for the North East.


Analysis by Tom Sheldrick, ITV Tyne Tees Political Correspondent

It is a bit of a surprise that the North East - and Newcastle in particular - has avoided the 'Very High' alert level and the strictest rules that come with it, but perhaps that won't be the case for long. The government has stressed how it wants to work with local leaders in putting this three-tier system into place. The cynical view is that this is about sharing responsibility - or sharing the blame - for difficult decisions.

It seems local leaders in the North East have successfully argued that the existing restrictions deserve more time, that high case numbers, again in Newcastle particularly, reflect the situation amongst students and not the wider population, and hospitalisations are much lower than on Merseyside.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London Credit: House of Commons/PA Wire/PA Images

But the Prime Minister and his spokesman have made it clear they want more areas to join the Liverpool City Region in the top tier and threatened to impose those measures anyway if they don't get local sign-up.

The pressure is on Greater Manchester today - and our region will surely be next. Given this new tier system is meant to be about making local rules simpler and more consistent, it seems unlikely that it will just be in Newcastle where the government will want to close bars, restaurants and other venues, but the wider area.

This could all be very quickly superseded though, with Boris Johnson himself under pressure to impose a national 'circuit break' lockdown.


Elsewhere in our region, North Yorkshire has been placed in the 'medium' tier of restrictions and the NHS Nightingale hospital has been placed on standby.

The county has avoided further restrictions for now, despite rising cases in the area according to Dr Lincoln Sargeant, the director of public health for North Yorkshire.

It comes as figures show that nationally deaths from coronavirus have also risen across the UK:

143

people died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test on Tuesday, the highest in 4 months

ONS figures show a significant jump in deaths involving Covid-19 in the North East. There were 40 deaths in the region, which was the highest since the week to June 12. That's up from 13 the previous week.


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