Local leaders say North East to remain under tier 2 restrictions 'for now'

The North East will remain under the Government's tier 2 (high) restrictions for now, local leaders told ITV Tyne Tees on Friday.

They claim the Government had to concede local COVID-19 data analysis was more reliable than theirs.

It means the situation on whether or not the North East follows Liverpool to move into tier 3 (very high) restrictions is now likely not to be reviewed until next week.

We can confirm we have had further constructive discussions with government today and the North East is staying at High Alert Level 2. Due to the combined efforts of our residents, businesses and communities since we introduced restrictions across the region on September 18, the public health data is showing signs of the number of Covid-19 cases stabilising.

Leaders of 7 North East authorities, the North of Tyne Mayor and PCC for Northumbria

It follows an announcement on Friday morning from the Northern Mayors, who have issued a joint statement on the financial package for the different tier restrictions.

They allege that the "Government is claiming that the North is divided and only interested in getting what we can for our own region"  and have responded to say that is simply not the case. 

We are all united in fighting for an 80% furlough scheme for all people affected by regional lockdowns, wherever they are in the country. Paying two-thirds of salaries will not be enough to protect the jobs of thousands – it should at least match the 80% that was available under furlough, with the minimum wage as the minimum support.

Joint statement from Northern Mayors on financial package for Tiers

The joint statement, signed by Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of North Tyne and Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, says the Northern Mayors are all fighting for "what is right".

On Saturday 17 October, Tier 2 'high' Covid-19 restrictions came into force in the city of York.

The move from the lowest alert level took effect at 00:01 this morning. The city is now on 'high' alert, and indoor household meetings will be banned, on top of the restrictions already in place.

Covid tiers: What are the differences between each alert level?

  • Medium (Tier 1) - Rule of six applies indoors and outdoors. Pubs and restaurants close at 10pm.

  • High (Tier 2) - Households must not mix indoors in any setting including pubs and restaurants. Rule of six applies outdoors

  • Very high (Tier 3) - Households must not mix indoors, or in private gardens. Rule of six applies in outdoor spaces including parks. Pubs and bars which don't serve meals will be closed

What are the rules for the North East?

National restrictions remain in place which includes the rule of six and 10pm curfew.

  • All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.

  • Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am. Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.

  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open

  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees

  • Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed

  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place

  • People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.

  • People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.