North East businesses feel the impact of last minute shoppers before lockdown

Video report by Julia Breen

With hours to go until a second national lockdown begins across England, retailers and businesses in the North East are already beginning to see the impact of the impending closures.

Shops have seen a huge rise in footfall with customers turning out early and queuing to stock up.

Many were rushing to get their Christmas shopping. 

The lockdown restrictions, which will initially be imposed from 12.01am on Thursday the 5th November until the 2nd of December across the whole of England, include:

  • Businesses being ordered to close include, pubs, bars and restaurants - except for takeaway and delivery.

  • Non-essential shops will close, as will leisure facilities like gyms and businesses providing services such as hairdressing or beauty treatments.

  • Education settings, such as schools, colleges, universities and nurseries will be allowed to remain open.

  • Places of worship will only be allowed to open for private prayer, meaning services will be banned.

  • Funerals will still be allowed to take place, with a maximum of 30 people and linked events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can continue with a maximum of 15 people.

  • Weddings will not be permitted to take place except in "exceptional circumstances".

  • International travel out of the country, except for essential work reasons, will be banned and anyone returning to England will be forced to quarantine for two weeks.

Meanwhile, business owners in the region have expressed their concern over what they'll emerge to in early December, with the prospect of further restrictions across the Christmas period. 

It comes as the latest figures show that in the North East there were 114 deaths involving coronavirus in the week ending 23 October.

That figure is an increase on the 93 deaths during the previous week and the highest number in the region since late May.

Figures show the overall number of deaths in the North East in the week ending the 23rd of October was 16.1% above the 5-year average.