North East reacts to announcement of second national lockdown

Video report by Kris Jepson

The North East will join the rest of England in a new national lockdown from Thursday, which will last a month.

Addressing the nation during a Number 10 press conference on Saturday evening, Boris Johnson said the steps were necessary to avoid a "medical and moral disaster" of the NHS being overwhelmed.

The Prime Minister said "from Thursday until the start of December you must stay at home. You may only leave home for specific reasons, including for education, for work, let's say if you cannot work from home". 

He said: "I'm afraid non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed", adding "pubs, bars, restaurants must close except for takeaway and delivery services".

Although non-essential shops and hospitality will be closed, schools, colleges and universities will be allowed to remain open. Mr Johnson said the furlough system paying employees 80% of their salaries will now continue through November.

Shoppers in Darlington on Saturday had a mixture of views when it came to a possible lockdown. One man said: "I think it's terrible. I think it'll cripple the country." A woman said "I'm not very happy, because I think, everywhere is different and they seem to be punishing everybody."

However, some agreed with the new national restrictions. One woman said: "I think if it's needed then so be it, but hopefully it's just for a month and we can have a little bit of normality back for Christmas." Another man said: "There's that many people dying through it and if they've got to do it, they've got to do it. It's going to ruin Christmas though isn't it?"

Another woman questioned whether the new measures where actually too little, too late, saying: "is it too late? After the horse has bolted type of thing? I don't know".

Jasmin Robson owns a cafe and bar in Darlington. She told ITV News it has been a "very worrying year" due to the Covid pandemic, and although she would prefer to remain open, she said the decision removes ongoing uncertainty.

We would rather stay open in some capacity. There's been so much uncertainty, you know it's difficult doing rotas and ordering stock and stuff like that so I suppose if it's a lockdown then we know either way. Obviously Christmas is very important to the hospitality industry so if the lockdown for November means that we can open in December in good capacity then maybe it is the best thing to do.

Jasmin Robson, business owner

The leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, Cllr Mary Lanigan said she is concerned the one month lockdown will not be enough, but said it is the correct decision. She called on everybody in the region to pull together and follow the new rules.

We do need to get on top of it, but the thing is if the people do not conform then we're never going to get rid of it. They have to. So a lockdown will probably stop people wandering about all over and travelling all over and then we'll have to see.

Mary Lanigan, Redcar & Cleveland Council leader