North East ‘lockdown’: here’s what you need to know

NEW ‘lockdown’ restrictions will come into force this evening as Sunderland City Council moves to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Following a reported sharp rise in cases, which leaders are calling ‘exponential’, a number of the North East’s councils including Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland, approached Number 10 to ask for measures to be brought into place.

As a result of the request, new lockdown measures will come into force at midnight tonight across the area.

Today at noon, Health Secretary Matt Hancock addressed the UK to break the news.

He said: “The battle against coronavirus is not over. We’ve seen local action work well in some parts of the country and now we must take further action.

“We’ve seen concerning numbers in parts of the North East. Sunderland, for example, now has an incidents rate of 103 positive cases per 100,000 population.

”From tomorrow in Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham, residents should not socialise with other people outside their household or social support bubble.

“Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only  and late-night restrictions of operating hours will be introduced.

“Leisure and entertainment venues must close between 10 pm and 5 am.

“These decisions have a real impact on families, businesses and local communities, and I can tell everyone affected that we do not take this decision lightly.

“The data says that we must act now to control the virus and keep people safe. I know the people in the north east will come together to defeat this virus, as defeat it we must.”

Washington Way understands that no other restrictions are currently in place or on the cards, meaning shopping, household outings, exercise and more are still lawful.

More when we have it…