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North East heading for pubs curfew

North East heading for pubs curfew

North East heading for pubs curfew

The North East of England is gearing itself up for tough new lockdown-style restrictions as coronavirus cases rise.

These look set to include a ban on socialising with anyone outside your household and a 10pm curfew for pubs, restaurants and other licensed premises.

No official announcement has yet been made about the plans, but measures are expected to come into force just after midnight tomorrow (Friday) morning in a bid to reverse a dramatic spike in Covid-19 cases across the region.

Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland are all expected to be included.

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said it was hoped the temporary measures would prevent a “full lockdown”. In a series of Tweets he denied the new restrictions meant the area was headed for “lockdown” – and said it was “about re-introducing social distancing where the evidence says it is slipping”.

But MPs in the North East, 22 of whom were briefed on the clampdown by health minister Nadine Dorries, claim a shortage of testing in the region is to blame for the new restrictions.

Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham, told Sky News: “It has added to the farcical way the government has handled this. The issue in the north east needs to be addressed as numbers are rising but testing in the north east is a shambles.”

The news comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Sun: “The only way to make sure the country is able to enjoy Christmas is to be tough now.” He previously said the government was doing “everything in our power” to avoid another nationwide lockdown.

The PM also said the government was promising £546 million as part of a plan to help protect care homes from coronavirus this winter.

 

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